Paul Green’s heartbroken family donated his brain to science in an effort to find out if he suffered from a fatal concussion-related illness.
The Australian Sports Brain Bank has recognized the donation, as research continues to better understand chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
Green was found dead at his home in Brisbane last Thursday, aged 49.
He left behind his wife Amanda and children Emerson and Jed as the news rocked the rugby league community.
The Green family posted the following message on the Sports Brain Bank website, with the goal of raising up to $150,000 for research.
Paul Green’s family donated his brain to science in a bid to find out if he suffered a fatal concussion
Green was found dead at his home in Brisbane last Thursday, aged 49 (pictured with Australian cricketing legend Andrew Symonds)
“In memory of our beloved Paul, we ask you to support the pioneering work of the Australian Sports Brain Bank,” it said.
“Paul was known to always watch out for others. We’re proud that part of his legacy is caring for the brain health of everyone else involved in the game he loved. Amanda, Emerson and Jed.
The 2015 Premiership-winning North Queensland coach has also played for the club alongside Cronulla, Sydney Roosters, Parramatta and Brisbane.
He had recently been in talks with the NRL’s 17th franchise, the Dolphins, to join Wayne Bennett as a member of its coaching staff next year.
Green also coached the Queensland State of Origin team in 2021.
He won the Rothmans Medal with the Sharks in 1995 and many believe if he weren’t injured he might have steered the Roosters to the premiership in 2002 as a half-back.
Cowboys manager Paul Green is doused in champagne by his players after winning the 2015 NRL Grand Final
NRL legend Johnathan Thurston is still trying to come to terms with the death of his former coach and close friend Paul Green
Green was also at the helm of North Queensland’s remarkable run to the 2017 Grand Final, which they lost to Melbourne.
He is also not the first NRL identity to donate his brain to science.
In 2019, Parramatta Eels legend Peter Sterling made the decision amid growing concerns over chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
Athletes in other sports such as the NFL, ice hockey, football, and rugby union have suffered from CTE later in life due to repeated head injuries sustained during their athletic careers.
“It’s been an ongoing concern as we learn more in the future,” Sterling told Macquarie Sports radio at the time.
“I said yes to donating my brain to science in the future and I think it will help gamers for years to come.”
Luke Keary, five-eighth of the current Roosters, agrees, saying the tests are “only beneficial”.
In 2019, Parramatta Eels legend Peter Sterling made the decision to also donate his brain to science amid growing concerns over Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)
A year earlier, an autopsy revealed that the Bulldogs’ favorite son, Steve Folkes, suffered from CTE before he died at the age of 59.
In 2018, former Bulldogs hardman Steven Folkes died at his home of a heart attack, aged 59.
An autopsy has revealed that the club legend turned premiership-winning coach suffered from CTE before his death.
In the NFL in the United States, players past and present have willingly agreed to have their brains tested.
Former Oakland Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler had CTE, as did NFL Hall of Famer and television sports commentator Frank Gifford.
He played for the New York Giants for 12 years from 1952, and after his death in 2015 his family said they suspected he “suffered the debilitating effects of traumatic brain injury” while alive.
In 2015, researchers at Boston University confirmed CTE in 87 of 91 deceased former NFL players they tested.
Dr. Ann McKee, professor of neurology at Boston University, also concluded that “no position on the field is safe”, which means that any player can end up with a CTE, which has also been linked to depression.