Paul Green’s best mate has revealed the NRL legend secretly battled mental health issues for two decades, a battle his parents never knew the extent of.
It’s been more than a week since Green, 49, was found dead at his home in Brisbane, but the shock of his death is still reverberating through much of the community.
Praise and pleas for people to talk about their issues and reduce the stigma of mental illness continue to mount.
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Daily Telegraph He shared new information about Green’s 20-year battle that only his close friends and family knew.
Best mate and former Sharks and Queensland teammate Craig Greenhill started the Green Tests in 2011. He said he believed it was when he retired from rugby league in 2004.
The pair grew up together, first playing as under-8s and all the way to home state.
But when his playing career ended and he moved out of the spotlight and behind the scenes, Greenhill believes that’s when Green’s struggles began.
“He’s been there a long time,” Greenhill said.
“He first talked about it maybe 18 years ago.
“The NRL, it’s like a machine. They (authorities) are ruthless and throw people under the bus because it’s a results-driven business.
Greenhill said Green was not constantly tormented by demons and was “generally happy.”
He added that he loved his wife and children, his family and was financially stable.
to speak Postal messagePeter Badel, Green’s 82-year-old mother Patricia and 93-year-old father Ned expressed their grief over the loss of their son.
“We never expected to bury our son,” Patricia said.
“His father, Ned, is heartbroken. Somehow we will survive but I never understand.
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“I was just shocked, shocked, heartbroken. I hope the feeling will go away one day. We yelled at ourselves. No tears left. I think we are a tough old generation and we have to move on somehow.
But our lives will never be the same.
Patricia said she couldn’t believe the news when her other children told her.
She said Paul was a “man of faith” and said she “couldn’t believe he would do it (take his life).”
She added that she didn’t see any signs of depression the last time she saw him – the boy’s 10th birthday, which was just hours before his death.
“They sat and laughed and talked and then we went home,” Patricia said.
“I left Paul a few hours before this happened. I kissed him and said ‘I love you Paul, catch you later’. Then we went home,” she said.
The grieving mother said she “never imagined” her son would be struggling to the point of taking his own life, and told the Courier Mail there was no difference in how Green acted.
“We couldn’t understand why he was doing it. We still can’t,” she says.
“It is against his faith. It’s hard to accept.”
Read the full story at The Courier Mail.
Green has had a strong coaching career, leading the Cowboys to their first premiership against Bennett’s Broncos in 2015 and leading the team to the grand final in 2017 despite losing Johnathan Thurston to injury.
But after a poor run for the Cowboys in 2020, which ended in a 2-1 defeat a season ago as Queensland coach, Green was looking for his next job.
Green was offered two assistant coaching jobs the following year, including one with Wayne Bennett with the Dolphins.
Despite this, the Sydney Morning Herald Sunday Green revealed his interest in coaching the Gold Coast Titans.
The Friday before he died, he asked Matt Rogers about the Titans during a round of golf.
The report also revealed that those who knew about the war had concealed “how hard and frequent the dark days were.”
“Green didn’t want his mental health struggles to be widely publicized, even if it impacted his ability to find and hold another head coaching job,” the report said.
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Green’s 2015 premiership captain Johnathan Thurston on Monday appealed for people to speak up and get help if they are struggling.
“Mental health has come to the forefront over the last 10-15 years,” Thurston said.
“Before that, there was an era of ‘She’ll be right, Guda.’ Well that’s not right! It won’t be right.
“We need to be there to help our spouses and encourage them to talk about their feelings and experiences and to seek professional help if they need it.
“Gone are the days of ‘she’s going to be right’ in this country of killing so many people.
“We should be able to talk about it.”
He also called Green “the rock for everyone else.”
“If you need to talk, call me,” he said. You have a lot to live for. You have health, family, kids,” Thurston added.
“So it doesn’t make any sense.”
A public memorial for Green will be held on Tuesday, August 30 and is expected to be well attended.
Speaking about the memorial, Green’s brother Rick said the event would be held at Cougar Oval and invited the public to come and celebrate the great life of the league.