Former North Queensland Cowboys chairman Laurence Lancini has revealed how he believes Paul Green was 'lost and confused' in the lead-up to his tragic death on Thursday at age 49.
A beloved former NRL player and coach, Green was found unresponsive at his home in Brisbane, with police confirming there were no suspicious circumstances in his death.
Green is survived by his wife Amanda and children Emerson and Jed.
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A spokesperson for Queensland police said: “Police were called to a Wynnum residence just after 10am this morning after a 49-year-old was located unresponsive.
“He was declared deceased by emergency crews a short time later. There are no suspicious circumstances. A report will be prepared for the coroner.”
According to reports, friends of Green said he was in 'perfect health' before his death and had undergone recent health checks.
“Today we are devastated,” a statement from Green's family said.
“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.”
Speaking to News Corp later on Thursday, Lancini made the devastating reveal that Green's death came just one day after his son's ninth birthday.
Lancini said that “the last few years had been tough on” Green after he lost his 'dream job' as Queensland State of Origin coach after their series loss in 2021.
“Greeny mentioned he was keen to coach again and had some options and I asked Greeny if he really wanted to go back into it again,” Lancini said.
“I said to Paul, the last club you coached, you took the Cowboys to the premiership and you took us to two grand finals. Just leave coaching behind and do something else.
“But Greeny still had that real drive. He wanted to coach again.
“Greeny has come from a position where he coached a club to a premiership and a second grand final. He has coached State of Origin. He has coached at the highest levels and I think Greeny was a bit lost and confused about where his life needed to be without coaching.
“The thing about Greeny is he was a high achiever and high achievers always want to be achieving something.
“The last few years have been a bit tough on him because he hasn’t been coaching in the NRL. I said to Greeny, just take your time and the right opportunity will come along.”
North Queensland Cowboys pay tribute to Paul Green
Green played 162 first grade games across five different clubs as a halfback, five-eighth and hooker while also playing 10 State of Origins for Queensland (three of which came during Super League in 1997).
He won the 1995 Rothmans Medal as the league’s best and fairest player.
But he will forever be remembered as the man who helped guide North Queensland to their maiden premiership in 2015.
In total, he was in charge of the Cowboys in 167 games as coach, with the 2015 title coming in just his second season as head coach.
"Paul first came to our club as a player in the late 90s and was the club’s first Origin representative, but his lasting legacy emanated from his seven-season tenure as head coach of the North Queensland Cowboys,” said club chairman Lewis Ramsay.
“Paul’s arrival as head coach transformed our club from finals contenders to an immediate premiership force, culminating in the historic 2015 grand final victory.
“We will forever remember Paul as one of the greatest contributors in Cowboys history.”
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