The tragic news of ex-North Queensland Cowboys coach Paul Green’s passing has been compounded with the revelation reported by the Courier-Mail that the 49-year-old took his own life.

Green’s death has rocked the rugby league community, with stories coming in from far and wide about his massive impact on players, coaches and all corners of the great game.

Green’s family have released a statement this afternoon.

“Today we are devastated.

“We have lost a devoted husband, loving father and wonderful brother and son. We cannot find the words that would come close to expressing our feelings, however we would like to extend our thanks to those who have reached out with their love and support.

“Paul was loved by so many and we know this news will generate immense interest, however at this time we ask for privacy. Our family is still trying to understand this tragedy and we request space and time as we come to terms with this loss. Thank you.”

No further details have emerged about Green’s passing.

TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 21: Cowboys coach Paul Green looks on before the start of the round seven NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Gold Coast Titans at 1300SMILES Stadium on April 21, 2018 in Townsville, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

After spending the first half of his time in the game as an award-winning player at a number of clubs, Green’s rugby league career was reborn as a coach, and he reached the pinnacle of the game in 2015 when the North Queensland Cowboys won the premiership – also taking them to the 2017 Grand Final despite a never-ending plague of injuries to key personnel.

Among the massive influx of friends and mourners, Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett told how Green was set to join him in Redcliffe next year.

“I offered him a position at the Dolphins in the last three weeks. We were in negotiations. He was keen to come, we were just trying to work out a contract for him. That’s how much I thought of him,” said Bennett.

“He played it, he coached it, he loved it. He was a great ambassador for our game.”

Bennett’s praise has been echoed throughout the rugby league community, with a stream of former and current players as well as coaches and administrators coming out with condolences and memories of what a giant of the game Green was.

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