NRL great Johnathan Thurston reveals he was on the wrong side of Paul Green for the first time

NRL great Johnathan Thurston has revealed the time he left his coach Paul Green furious after rolling his ankle after “a few beers” on a night out.

The former Champion Cowboys halfback, 39, recalled when Green – who was buried at a private funeral in Brisbane on Tuesday – organized a pre-season trip to the Gold Coast.

“It was for the guys who went to the World Cup to bring us up to speed on team structures,” said Thurston.

“So the first night we went out to dinner and had a couple of drinks and was in the cab on the way back… a couple of the guys started drinking a little bit of Barney in the back and we pulled over and I go jump and roll.” my ankle.

“The next morning it was like a balloon and we were there for five days…I couldn’t lace up my boots to do all the things…so that was the first time I saw him (Green) with a little bit of steam.” comes from his ears.

“But he loves bringing people together and he’s done a great job at Townsville.”

NRL great Johnathan Thurston has revealed the time he left Paul Green in anger after rolling his ankle after a few beers one night.

NRL great Johnathan Thurston has revealed the time he left Paul Green in anger after rolling his ankle after a few beers one night.

Green and Thurston teamed up to lead the North Queensland Cowboys to the 2015 NRL Premiership

Green and Thurston teamed up to lead the North Queensland Cowboys to the 2015 NRL Premiership

Thurston was the hero of the 2015 decider when he landed a field goal at Golden Point to seal a 17-16 win over arch-rivals the Broncos

Thurston was the hero of the 2015 decider when he landed a field goal at Golden Point to seal a 17-16 win over arch-rivals the Broncos

Thurston and Green were very close.

Both will go down in folklore as the captain and coach who gave North Queensland their first NRL title in 2015.

And in typical Thurston style, it was dramatic, with a golden point field goal that sealed an epic 17-16 triumph over archrivals the Broncos.

The man affectionately known as “JT” was hit harder than most by Green’s sudden death.

In the days that followed, he was unable to fulfill his commentary duties on Channel Nine.

Ahead of Tuesday’s ceremony at Wynnum Manly Leagues club, rugby league immortal Wally Lewis revealed Thurston “hasn’t stopped crying since [Green’s death] happened.’

Mourners who arrived early for the service included former Brisbane Broncos champions Shane Webcke and Andrew Gee, and former North Cowboys boss and current Newcastle Knights football manager Peter Parr.

The Cowboys sent a delegation of representatives to pay their respects, including coach Todd Payten and star players Jason Taumalolo, Kyle Feldt and Jake Granville, who won the 2015 NRL Grand Final under Green’s skillful coaching.

Broncos legend Allan Langer said goodbye to his good pal alongside current Brisbane football boss Ben Ikin and Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson.

Rugby league immortal Wally Lewis (pictured) said Cowboys star Johnathan Thurston

Rugby league immortal Wally Lewis (pictured) said Cowboys star Johnathan Thurston “hadn’t stopped crying” since Green’s death more than two weeks ago.

Mourners were greeted by a portrait of Green flanked by Queensland and Cowboys jerseys at his funeral on Tuesday. During his distinguished career, he played and coached for both teams

Mourners were greeted by a portrait of Green flanked by Queensland and Cowboys jerseys at his funeral on Tuesday. During his distinguished career, he played and coached for both teams

Around 700 guests were in attendance including Anthony Minichiello, Brent Tate, Lote Tuqiri, Mal Meninga, Brad Thorn, Wendell Sailor, Kevin Walters and Brad Fittler.

Green’s brother Rick told the mourners, “He opened his arms to the world for all to see, no matter what path you come from.

“He had the courage and enlightenment to pay the price of being a real person.

“He knew that doubt and darkness were the price of knowledge, but boy did he care about knowledge. He left no stone unturned to find out.

“They all speak of a light that shone so bright. That greatness shows in so many ways.”

Green’s coffin was taken from the service by pallbearers, including lifelong friends Mark Bietz, Craig Greenhill and brother Rick, to the accompaniment of the song Shallow by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper.

Friends, family and members of the rugby league community then formed an honor guard as Green left the Kougari Oval one last time.

During his storied playing career, the little halfback played 162 NRL matches, mostly for Cronulla, as well as 10 matches for Queensland and three Tests for Australia.

He also received the 1995 Rothmans Medal – now known as the Dally M Award – for the league’s best player, although it was only his second season at the top level.

Broncos legend and Green's good friend Allan Langer at the service in Wynnum, east Brisbane

Broncos legend and Green’s good friend Allan Langer at the service in Wynnum, east Brisbane

North Queensland stars (left to right) Jake Granville, Jason Taumalolo and Kyle Feldt arrive at the funeral. They all won the 2015 Grand Final under Green's coaching

North Queensland stars (left to right) Jake Granville, Jason Taumalolo and Kyle Feldt arrive at the funeral. They all won the 2015 Grand Final under Green’s coaching

Ikin said Green is one of the main people he would go to if he wanted to know what’s going on in the sport.

“I think Paul will be remembered as a guy who thought deeply, who cared deeply about him, and you could feel that every time you were in his company,” he said.

“Some guys in pro sports are always on their way to the next thing, even if you talk to them.

“I always felt that when you were talking to Paul, when you were in his company, he wanted to hear what you were thinking, he wanted to hear what you were saying, and he cared about the outcome of the conversation was.

“I think it was that part of his character, his personality, that allowed him to inspire a group of young men as coaches on multiple occasions.

Ben Ikin revealed he will miss the in-depth conversations he and Green had about Footy and life

Current NSW State of Origin coach Brad Fittler makes his way to the funeral

Ben Ikin (left) revealed he will miss the in-depth conversations he and Green had about football and life in general. He was joined at the service by Brad Fittler (right).

“I’ll miss our talks, that’s for sure. We used to go deep, put on the scuba gear, we said earlier. Go deep into the league and life.

“He was always someone I could bounce things off of, test things on and get an intelligent response. I know I will miss those moments very much.”

Webcke was full of praise for his great buddy.

“Greeny was definitely a unique guy and an incredibly talented person, there wasn’t anything Greeny tried that he couldn’t really do,” he said.

“He could fly helicopters and airplanes, he went to Harvard, he played football, won premierships and then coached and won premierships.

“Behind all of that was the guy that the general public would have seen and behind that was this wonderful pal and just a really good hearted guy.”

Green is survived by his wife, Amanda, and their children, Emerson and Jed.

If you require assistance contact Lifeline 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.

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Bradford Betz

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