Paul Green’s death this week sent shockwaves throughout the entire rugby league community and tributes have poured in since.
Tears have flowed and stories have come out of the woodwork in tribute for the NRL great.
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The 49-year-old was found dead at his Brisbane home on Thursday morning, the day after his son’s ninth birthday. It has been confirmed he took his own life.
The Courier Mail reported the footy legend’s wife Amanda found him unresponsive at their home after returning home from doing pilates at the gym.
Some of the biggest names in the league have honoured Green with moving tributes, from Trent Robinson to Wayne Bennett and Johnathan Thurston.
On Thursday it was former teammate Bryan Fletcher shared a story that summed up the selflessness of the NRL great.
Green joined the Sydney Roosters in 2001 and enjoyed a stellar season. His second season however didn’t go according to plan.
A knee injury sustained in the opening round saw him ruled out for the rest of the season as his teammates went on to claim premiership glory.
Instead of sitting on the sidelines, Green ensured his impact was felt off the field amount the team, according to Fletcher.
“If we had a drink, he was the first one to organise it – I think he took it upon himself as a role,” Fletcher said on Fox League.
“I think he was thinking to himself: ‘I’m not going to be able to play this year and add anything to the team, so I’ll try and help off-field’.
“It was a terrific year, that year. We were talking about it at the (recent 20-year) reunion how much fun we had. And I think a lot of that had to do with Greeny.”
Fletcher however said his biggest off-field move came prior to the Grand Final when he approached Gatorade. Green is the player who helped bring the American tradition of showering victorious coaches in Gatorade Down Under.
The selfless act from Green set his team up for their post-season getaway and sums up why his teammates loved him so much.
“He went to Gatorade and said: ‘If we do this, what will you give us?’,” Fletcher said.
“He organised $10,000 or something and we used it for a trip away. (It) was the first time it was done (in Australia).
“He said: ‘If you do it to Sticky (Ricky Stuart), Gatorade is going to give us 10 grand.’ We did it and Gatorade used that for a billboard the following year.
“We’d never seen that before, obviously it was big in American sport.”
Green surprised his teammates for the 20-year premiership reunion after initially telling them he couldn’t make it due to a family holiday.
“He was up on one of the islands up there,” Fletcher said.
“He said, ‘Sorry boys, I can’t make it.’ But he ended up (coming) as a bit of a surprise. He said, ‘I couldn’t not come with all the banter on WhatsApp.’
“He turned up and he had to go buy (clothes). He just had boardies. He went to Best & Less or something.
“He had shirts that were too big for him, his pants were too tight. He (still) got on the dancefloor!”
Green’s family issued a statement after his shock death, thanking those who had reached out in the wake of the news.
“Today we are devastated,” Green’s family said in a statement.
“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.”