Paul Green dead, Johnathan Thurston response, North Queensland Cowboys

A heartbroken Johnathan Thurston has spoken publicly for the first time since Paul Green’s shocking death.

Green, 49, was found dead in his Brisbane home. It has been confirmed that he committed suicide.

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The news of the death of the former North Queensland Cowboys coach, who won the premiership, has caused an outpouring of grief from the rugby league community.

On Monday night, Thurston spoke about the pain and anger he has felt since the loss of his former coach and friend.

The two men combined in 2015 to lead the Cowboys to their first premiership.

Thurston was on the air flying to Sydney for his Channel 9 commentary when the shocking news of Green’s death became public.

Thurston got the weekend off and immediately returned to Townsville.

“Roller coaster of emotions. It’s hard…I’m sad, I’m angry,” Thurston told 9News through tears.

“I think of Amanda (Green’s wife) and the children. It just breaks my heart.

“He was still like the rock for everyone.

He said, ‘Call me if you want to talk. You have so much to live for. You have health, family, children’.

“So it just doesn’t make sense.”

Despite the pain of losing a wonderful friend, Thurston does his best to remember all the good times he shared with Green.

“He was going to get some under his belt and start singing ‘Ice Ice Baby,'” Thurston said with a laugh.

“(That) was his go-to.

“He loved bringing people together.”

The rugby league community was heartbroken. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Green and JT celebrate their premiership victory. Photo Brett CostelloSource: News Regional Media

Green’s brother, Rick, spoke of the heavy toll the family has endured since the passing of the NRL Great.

“As expected, there are times when we were a little overwhelmed with the emotion of the loss,” he said.

“Mom and Dad are quite advanced in their ages – Dad is over 90, Mom is over 80 – and they clearly feel the loss of their son. Because siblings felt that loss, but we are also very aware of the loss of Amanda (Green’s wife) and make sure she has that support.

“Everyone has their moments, but we’ve had a big weekend where we discussed different things. We think we have a path now, so that certainly helped.”

News of a public memorial was released on Sunday, which should be well attended, judging by the emotional scenes over the weekend.

Speaking of the memorial, Rick said the event would take place at Kougari Oval and invited the public to come and celebrate the life of the league great.

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