NRL icon Paul Green has died aged 49.
The former footy star turned premiership-winning coach passed away at his home in Brisbane on Thursday morning. He is survived by wife Amanda and son Jed.
The Daily Telegraph has confirmed that he took his own life.
Friends said Green was in perfect health and up to date with health checks before his death. News.com.au understands his recent health checks came back all clear.
Green’s passing is another shocking loss to the Australian sports community after the deaths of Australian cricket legends Rod Marsh, Shane Warne and Andrew Symonds earlier this year.
Green’s family released a statement on Friday afternoon.
“Today we are devastated,” the statement began.
“We have lost a devoted husband, loving father and wonderful brother and son. We cannot find the words that would come close to expressing our feeling, 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 that 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 had a decorated career as a player, stepping onto an NRL field more than 150 times for a host of clubs including Cronulla, North Queensland and the Roosters. A clever halfback, Green played 95 games for the Sharks and was at the Roosters when they won the 2002 premiership.
The footy legend also played seven State of Origin matches for Queensland, as well as three additional matches for the Maroons during the Super League war.
Green finished his NRL career at the Broncos in 2004 before turning his hand to coaching. His greatest achievement was leading the Cowboys to their maiden premiership in 2015, when they defeated Brisbane in one of the most thrilling grand finals in history.
Green also coached Queensland’s State of Origin team in 2021, when they lost the series to NSW 2-1.
After seven years in charge of North Queensland, he was replaced by Todd Payten at the end of 2020. Green’s name had been thrown about as a potential mentor for a number of NRL sides who have parted ways with their coaches this year, including the Wests Tigers, Bulldogs and Warriors.
According to reports, Green was also offered a gig as assistant coach to Wayne Bennett at the Dolphins, who will enter the NRL competition next year.
Tributes have come pouring in for Green from footy fans and clubs.
Former Penrith and Cronulla star Martin Lang tweeted: “This is so sad. Paul was a close mate, we moved to Sydney together in 1993 … the beginning of an outstanding NRL playing/coaching career. My sincere condolences to Paul’s wife, children and his dear mum and dad. Rest In Peace mate.”