Heartbroken radio star pays emotional tribute to her high school sweetheart Paul Green after NRL legend’s shock death: ‘He was my first love’
- Triple M Gold Coast radio presenter Ali Plath made the tribute on the weekend
- She and Green shared a long-running relationship and were friends at the end
- While she definitely saw his larrikin side, Plath reveals the softer side of Green
- For help in a crisis call 000. If you or anyone you know needs support, you can contact Lifeline 131 114, or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636
Gold Coast Triple M radio presenter Ali Plath has shared a heartbreaking tribute to her ‘first love’ Paul Green after the footy legend’s shock death aged just 49.
The NRL remains in mourning after the former champion player and coach took his own life on Thursday last week.
All round 22 matches held over the weekend included a minute’s silence and tributes to Green who famously steered the North Queensland Cowboys to their maiden NRL premiership in 2015.
Green and Plath in their teenage years when they were high school sweethearts
As family, friends and fans try to make sense of the tragedy, Plath revealed on her breakfast show with Sean ‘Flan’ Flanagan and Peter ‘Spida’ Everitt that she had a long-running relationship with Green when they were younger.
‘I can’t believe that he’s done this, I can’t believe this has happened,’ she said.
‘That’s not Paul. I’m actually in complete and utter shock. I only spoke to him a couple of months ago.
Green is honoured at the match between the Gold Coast Titans and Manly Sea Eagles
Plath and Green remained friends after they broke up and the Triple M presenter reached out to his widow Amanda, children Jed and Emerson and the rest of the family.
‘My heart is breaking today for his wife Amanda and his beautiful kids and obviously his parents, and his four siblings,’ she said.
‘Paul and I went to high school together, he was my first love. You only get one first love.
‘We were together when I was in Year 12 for a year and then we split up. I had kids with [former partner] Mark and when that didn’t work out, Paul and I got back together.
‘We then did nine years of on-off, long-distance, de facto … I guess we were that couple that I think our family and friends were so much happier than we were when we finally split up.
‘Paul was a wonderful stepdad to my two older kids Jesse and Jake when we all lived in Sydney together when I finally had the courage to move them.’
Paul Green played for Cronulla (top left), and played and coached the Sydney Roosters (top right) and North Queensland Cowboys who all honoured him in their NRL games
Plath remembers Green as a loving partner and father to her children during his time as an NRL player.
‘For him to swallow his pride and I guess take my kids under his wing, I really didn’t appreciate how big that was at the time. It’s a big responsibility taking on someone else’s family,’ she said.
‘Paul was extremely loyal, he was highly intelligent — even though I used to tell him I was smarter than him. When I was in Year 12, he was two years older than me, and he was getting up me for not doing my schoolwork.
‘He just had such a great sense of fun as well as being so capable. If Paul said to you, ‘I’m going to be a pilot’, [you knew] he was going to be a pilot. And he did – he was a commercial pilot.
‘My mum let him take me to Hervey Bay in this Mosquito aeroplane when he was doing his training. That’s how capable Paul was. You trusted him, you knew he could do it, I never doubted him.
‘He was just one of those people who you knew you could rely on. [As an NRL player], he was one of those players you could count on and he would give his all.
Plath joined the Triple M team on the Gold Coast this year, joining the breakfast panel
Plath also revealed some of the larrikin side of Green, including the time he re-injured his troublesome shoulder when they went to throw rocks on a friend’s roof.
‘Everyone would do it at different times,’ she said.
‘Paul had just had his shoulder reconstructed so it was just ridiculous that he’d even be doing that.
‘Paul and I are crouched down behind these bushes and chucking more rocks and he’s (their friend) yelling out f-off. We were crying with laughter so hard that Paul couldn’t hold his farts in.
‘We ended up going to talk to (their friend) and as we were leaving he (Green) slipped on the steps and bunged his shoulder again.’