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Paul Green dead: NRL legend wanted to coach Brisbane Broncos after leaving North Queensland Cowboys

The sudden death of legendary NRL player and coach Paul Green means he will tragically never fulfil his dream of coaching the Brisbane Broncos.

Green, 49, was found dead in his home’s garage in Wynnum, in Brisbane’s east, about 10am on Thursday. 

The death of the former halfback – who took out one of the sport’s highest awards as a player, including collecting the Rothmans Medal in 1995 – was met with shock and mourning from the footy world.

In an interview last year, after he and his family put their Townsville home up for sale after he resigned from coaching the North Queensland Cowboys, Green admitted he had ‘big dreams’ of being selected to coach the Brisbane Broncos. 

‘I’m Brisbane born and bred, so to coach the Broncos would be a great ambition,’ Green told The Townsville Bulletin. 

‘Hopefully it happens down the track.’ 

Green embraces Queensland halfback Daly Cherry-Evans after the Maroons won game three of last year’s State of Origin series – his last game as coach

Green leaves behind his wife Amanda and his children Jed and Emerson (pictured together)

Green leaves behind his wife Amanda and his children Jed and Emerson (pictured together)

Green listed the Townsville mansion for sale six months after he resigned as coach, with the family returning to Brisbane.

He described the move as ‘tough’.

‘It is pretty tough to move and tough on the family,’ he said, saying the home was the ‘house my kids have lived in most of their life’. 

A post-mortem will be carried out to determine Green’s cause of death. 

Those close to the ex-Cronulla Sharks star are devastated and said there was no indication he was ill.

Queensland Police were called to Green’s family home after he was found unresponsive in his garage. 

A police spokeswoman told Daily Mail Australia that Green was declared dead at the scene by paramedics a short time later. 

‘He was declared deceased by emergency crews a short time later,’ she said. ‘There are no suspicious circumstances. A report will be prepared for the Coroner.’

 He leaves behind his wife Amanda and children Jed and Emerson, who released a statement on Thursday afternoon. 

‘Today we are devastated. We have lost a devoted husband, loving father and wonderful brother and son,’ the family said.

‘We cannot find the words that would come close to expressing our feelings, however we would like to extend our thanks to those who have reached out to us with their love and support.

‘Paul was loved by so many and we know this news will generate immense interest, however at this time we ask for privacy.’ 

‘Our family is still trying to understand this tragedy and we request space and time as we come to terms with this loss. Thank you.’

Green was a star as both a player and coach, taking out one of the game's highest honours when he won the Rothmans Medal in 1995

Green was a star as both a player and coach, taking out one of the game’s highest honours when he won the Rothmans Medal in 1995

Green was only in his second year as coach of the North Queensland Cowboys when he guided them to their only premiership in 2015

Green was only in his second year as coach of the North Queensland Cowboys when he guided them to their only premiership in 2015

Green quit as the Cowboys’ coach in 2020 but was still highly rated in the league and was due to be an assistant to Wayne Bennett with the Dolphins next year.

He was in Sydney last weekend for a reunion for the Cronulla Sharks, the team he starred at halfback for from 1994 to 1998, guiding them to the 1997 Super League grand final.

Green went on to play from the Cowboys, Roosters and Eels in a first-grade career that spanned 10 years and ended in 2004, racking up 162 games with 37 tries to his name.

The halfback won the Rothmans Medal in 1995 while playing for Cronulla (pictured) - the team he helped take to the Super League grand final in 1997

The halfback won the Rothmans Medal in 1995 while playing for Cronulla (pictured) – the team he helped take to the Super League grand final in 1997

The diminutive half played seven State of Origin games for Queensland from 1998 to 2001 and played two matches for the Australian Super League team in 1997.

His stellar coaching career began with the Cowboys in 2014 and the next year he guided the club to their only premiership, a thrilling 17-16 victory over the Brisbane Broncos in extra time.

Green coached Queensland’s State of Origin team for one series in 2021. When he resigned from that job last September, it appeared certain he would resume his days as an NRL coach.

He was linked to Wests Tigers at the end of last season and was expected to take on a role at the Dolphins next year.

Beyond those still at North Queensland, he has coached several players across the game who began their careers in Townsville or played for the Maroons last year.

Police were called to Green's family home in Wynnum, in Brisbane's east, just after 10am on Thursday after he was found unresponsive in his garage

Police were called to Green’s family home in Wynnum, in Brisbane’s east, just after 10am on Thursday after he was found unresponsive in his garage

Paul Green’s career in rugby league

PLAYER 

  • Played 162 first grade games
  • Moved from Brisbane to join Cronulla in 1994, played 95 games for the Sharks
  • Joined the Cowboys in 1999, chalked up 35 appearances
  • Signed with the Roosters where he played 20 games from 2001-2002
  • Joined Parramatta in 2003 playing seven matches
  • Finished his career at the Broncos with five games
  • Represented Queensland in seven Origin games
  • Represented Australia and Queensland in the Super League in late 1990s

COACH 

  • Head coach of the North Queensland Cowboys for 167 games (2014-2020), winning a premiership in 2015
  • Head coach of Queensland in 2021 State of Origin series

‘This is so sad. Paul was a close mate, we moved to Sydney together in 1993….the beginning of an outstanding playing/coaching career,’ he wrote.

‘My sincere condolences to Paul’s wife, children and his dear mum and dad. Rest In Peace mate.’ 

‘We are deeply saddened at the tragic passing of Queenslander and former Bronco, Paul Green,’ the Broncos tweeted.

‘A legend on and off the field gone far too soon.’

Former NRL CEO Todd Greenberg voiced his shock after seeing Green in good spirits recently.

‘So sad to hear of the passing of Paul Green. I enjoyed some time with him recently & he was in great spirits and looking forward to the next phase of his life,’ he wrote.

The Sharks and Cowboys champion’s passing is another shocking loss to the Australian sporting community following the deaths of Australian cricket legends Rod Marsh, Shane Warne and Andrew Symonds – a good friend of Green’s – earlier this year.

For help in a crisis call 000. If you or anyone you know needs support, you can contact Lifeline 131 114, or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636



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