Home Health Late rugby great Paul Green revealed he was suffering from a severe...

Late rugby great Paul Green revealed he was suffering from a severe form of brain disease linked to head impacts


Queensland football great Paul Green showed no signs of struggling with his mental health before taking his own life on August 11, according to family, friends and colleagues.

“Paul wasn’t depressed, [he] showed no signs of mental health problems, his family was everything to him,” his wife Amanda Green told The Weekend Australian.

Literally a day before his death, they celebrated their son’s 10th birthday — laughing and discussing Green’s future career plans over birthday cake, pizza and a few glasses of wine.

The 49-year-old was found unresponsive at his Wynnum home the next day and died a short time later.

“I came home and found him … that was it,” Ms Green said.

“There were no signs. We often talked about our future and what it looks like. I never doubted that we would spend the rest of our lives together.”

Paul Green, his children Emerson and Jed and his wife Amanda.(Delivered)

Now, two months after his death, new results from a post-mortem brain scan may reveal why he died.

Green’s brain was donated to the Australian Sports Brain Bank.

Postmortem scan reveals brain disease

Associate Professor Michael Buckland led the examination and handed over the results last week.

Mikhail near the microscope.
Dr. Michael Buckland says Green was suffering from one of the most severe forms of brain disease he had ever seen.(ABC News: Timothy Aylwood)

The neurologist said he found one of the most severe forms of pure CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) he had ever seen.

“[This] is a progressive brain disease whose only known cause at this stage is exposure to repeated blows to the head,” Dr Buckland said.

“Often in the early stages of CTE, some people may be asymptomatic, but most families report that their loved one has anxiety or apathy, impulsivity, explosiveness, aggression, thoughts of self-harm.

“As the disease progresses, it tends to show … difficulties in thinking and planning, as well as difficulties with memory.”

Paul Green played for five rugby league clubs and featured in seven Origin matches during his career before moving into coaching.

Paul Green in an Origin shirt raises his hand.
Green played 162 games in his career.(Getty: Darren England)

But big rugby league existed at a time when the “tough it up, she’ll be right” attitude prevailed, and standing up and continuing to play after a header was applauded.


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