Rugby league star and premiership-winning coach Paul Green dies, age 49

Aug 11, 2022
During his playing career, Green took the field an incredible 162 times across a number of clubs. Source: Getty Images.

A shocked rugby league community is in mourning following the sudden death of premiership-winning coach Paul Green at the age of 49 on Thursday, August 11.

A post-mortem is expected to be carried out in order to determine Green’s cause of death after he passed away at his home in Brisbane.

During his playing career, Green took the field an incredible 162 times with a number of clubs which included the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, North Queensland Cowboys, Sydney Roosters, Parramatta Eels, and the Brisbane Broncos. He also represented Queensland in seven State of Origin games and played two matches for the Australian Super League team in 1997.

Green made his debut with the Cronulla Sharks in 1994, impressing many with his maturity and impressive skills as a halfback. Following his debut season, Green won the ARL’s prestigious Rothmans Medal award as best and fairest player.

In 1999 Green made a move to the North Queensland Cowboys as the team’s starting halfback for most of the year. He also became the club’s first State of Origin representative, when he was selected as Queensland’s halfback for Game 2 in the series.

Green returned to Sydney in 2001 to play for the Sydney Roosters where he played 19 games for the club while receiving another call up to Origin, playing in all three games in Queensland’s series win.

Following a knee injury in 2002 that ruled him out for the entire Roosters’ premiership-winning season, Green went on to join the Parramatta Eels in 2003 as a halfback for seven games before a cheekbone fracture ended his season.

In 2004, Green made the move back to Queensland to sign with the Brisbane Broncos where he made five appearances with the club before retiring.

Following Green’s impressive playing career he turned his attention toward coaching after his retirement, where he famously led the North Queensland Cowboys to their first Grand Final in a decade. The Cowboys went to win the final with a 17-16 win over the Brisbane Broncos.

The monumental win made Green the first coach in history to defeat the Brisbane Broncos in a Grand Final.

A devastated rugby league community took to social media to pay tribute to Green in the wake of his sudden death.

National Rugby League announced that “the Rugby League community has lost a legendary player and coach today” while offering their condolences to fans, friends, and family alike.

The Parramatta Eels expressed their grief after the loss of “a great man, player and coach”.

The Sydney Roosters’ thoughts were with Green’s family.

“Deepest and most sincere condolences” were offered by the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

The Manly Warringah Sea Eagles paid tribute to a “wonderful man, player and coach”.

Origin rivalries were put aside with the NSW Blues offering their “deepest condolences to the friends and family of Paul Green”.

The West Tigers were “deeply saddened” after learning of Green’s passing.

The team that Green secured a premiership win for, the North Queensland Cowboys, will remember Green “as one of the greatest contributors in Cowboys history.”

Melbourne Storm will remember Green “for his outstanding contribution” to rugby league in his roles as player and coach.

St George Illawarra Dragons also offered their “deepest condolences” to those who were close to Green.

Green is survived by his wife Amanda and two children Emerson and Jed.

If you or anyone you know needs help: Lifeline — 13 11 14; MensLine Australia — 1300 789 978; BeyondBlue — 1300 224 636; Suicide Call Back Service — 1300 659 467; Headspace — 1800 650 890; Kids Helpline — 1800 551 800

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