Heartbroken Johnathan Thurston breaks down in tears over Paul Green’s death and admits he’s ANGRY with his mate and former coach – as he reveals what the pair spoke about the night before tragedy struck
- Thurston and Green won 2015 grand final with the North Queensland Cowboys
- Footy legend broke down on TV on Monday as he talked about his mate’s death
- Revealed he and teammate Gavin Cooper spoke to Green just before he died
- If you or anyone you know needs support, you can contact Lifeline 131 114, or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636
Johnathan Thurston has broken down as he voiced his sadness and anger over the death of his fellow footy legend Paul Green, who took his own life last Wednesday aged just 49.
The former North Queensland Cowboys superstar broke his silence over the passing of his great mate after the news left him so devastated he was unable to fulfill his commentary duties for Channel Nine last Thursday night.
‘Rollercoaster of emotions. It’s hard … I’m sad, I’m angry,’ Thurston said on Nine’s 100% Footy on Monday night, going on to reveal he and his teammate Gavin Cooper had spoken to Green on the night of his death.
‘He was saying, “Give me a call if you need to chat. You’ve got so much to live for. You’ve got health, family, kids.” So it just doesn’t make sense.
‘I think of [Green’s wife] Amanda and the kids. It just breaks my heart.’
A heartbroken Thurston couldn’t contain his grief when he spoke publicly for the first time since his mate, mentor and ex-coach Paul Green’s tragic death last Wednesday
The Cowboys legend wept as he pleaded with Australians to drop their ‘she’ll be right’ attitude to men’s mental health
The death of the man who coached the Cowboys to their first premiership in 2015 has put a renewed focus on mental health in football, and Thurston took up the cause on the show.
He said prior to the issue coming to prominence in the last 10-15 years, a ‘she’ll be right’ attitude had prevailed.
‘Well, it won’t be right! It’s not going to be right,’ he said while breaking down in tears.
‘We need to be there for our mates and get them to talk about their feelings and what they’re going through and [make them] seek professional help if they need it.
‘The days are gone of she’ll be right, of suicide taking far too many lives in this country.’
Thurston also cast his mind back to what he loved about his mate.
‘He’d get a few under his belt and start singing “Ice Ice Baby”. That was his go-to [song].
‘He loved bringing people together.’
It’s the first time the Cowboys champion has spoken publicly about Green’s death.
Thurston and Green made history when they steered North Queensland to its first premiership in 2015 in an all-time great grand final win over the Brisbane Broncos (pictured)
Thurston struggled for years to realise his dream of bringing the NRL trophy to Townsville – and Green helped him make that a reality
The pair steered the club to a thrilling golden-point grand final victory over the Brisbane Broncos in 2015 and were famously seen embracing on the field after the historic win.
Thurston was ‘hurting’ too badly to join the Nine commentary team for last Thursday’s Melbourne vs Penrith game, which came just a day after Green’s tragic death.
The star half’s former Queensland and Kangaroos teammate Cameron Smith offered an insight into his state of mind at the time.
‘I spent a couple of hours with JT this afternoon. He was absolutely devastated, as were many of the players and his teammates in that Cowboys outfit that were coached by Paul Green,’ said Smith.
If you or anyone you know needs support, you can contact Lifeline 131 114, or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636