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Johnathan Thurston breaks down as he opens up about Paul green’s death in emotional interview

Jayden Collins

| Last updated 

Johnathan Thurston breaks down as he opens up about Paul green’s death in emotional interview

Featured Image Credit: 9 News Sydney/Twitter. NRL/Supplied.

NRL great Johnathan Thurston has broken down while opening up for the first time since his good friend and fellow rugby league legend Paul Green took his own life.

The news of the former premiership-winning coach’s passing last week left the NRL community in mourning.

Thurston was left heartbroken by the news and was unable to conduct his commentary duties the next day as Channel 9 confirmed he had flown back to Townsville to be with his family.

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The former North Queensland player appeared on Nine’s 100% Footy on Monday (August 15) night to open up about his friend’s passing and the ‘roller coaster of emotions’ he has dealt with.

He said: “It’s hard… I’m sad, I’m angry.”

Adding: “I think of [Green’s wife] Amanda and the kids. It just breaks my heart.”

Thurston revealed that his former teammate Gavin Cooper had spoken to Green the day before he took his life.

Thurston continued: "Gavin Cooper spoke to him the night before to check up and see how he was. It was Jed's birthday.

"It's just come out of nowhere. … I don't know. It's hard to comprehend.

"It just doesn't make sense."

Credit: NRL/Supplied
Credit: NRL/Supplied

The 39-year-old then made an emotional plea to men to seek professional help for mental health struggles, revealing he had consulted a psychologist since retiring in 2018.

He said: “Mental health has really come to the forefront in the last 10-to-15 years and before that it was an era of ‘she’ll be right, mate’. Well, it won’t be right. It’s not going to be right.

“We need to be there for our mates and to get them to talk about their feelings, and what they are going through, and to seek professional help if they need it.

“The days are gone of 'she’ll be right'. Suicide has taken far too many lives in this country and we need to be able to talk about it."

The Maroons representative went on to pay tribute to his former coach who he spent four years at the Cowboys with.

“He loved to bring people together, he loved to be the life of the party; whether it was for a barbecue, a glass of red or being down the park with the kids," Thurston said.

"He just loved being around people and he was a very considerate person. He always wanted to know how you were doing, how you were feeling, what was going on in your life.

"If there was anything that he could do to help you with that he would do that. He had a massive heart on him.

"He was a high achiever in his life and it is still quite difficult to understand how this has all unfolded but I have got some amazing memories with him and that is what I am holding on to now."

Green’s funeral and life celebration will be held at Kougari Oval on August 30 and will be live-streamed for the public.

Topics: Australia, NRL, Rugby League

Jayden Collins
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