Paul Green was one of rugby league’s deepest thinkers. But he was also one of the game’s sparkling wits – and he never failed to deliver for his teammates off the field.
In the wake of Green’s untimely death on Thursday, former Roosters teammate Bryan Fletcher shared his favourite memories of his time with Green and revealed one of the NRL great’s cheekiest acts.
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Fletcher told Fox League: “He came to the Chooks in 2001. 2002, he did his knee in the first game. I remember he was basically going through the rehab and stuff.
“But having him around – if we had a drink he was the first one to organise it. I think he took it upon himself as a role. The trip away at the end of the year, we had fundraisers through the year.
“I think he was thinking to himself: ‘I’m not going to be able to play this year and add anything to the team, so I’ll try and help off-field’. It was a terrific year that year, we were talking about it at the (recent 20-year) reunion how much fun we had. And I think a lot of that had to do with Greeny.”
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Speaking of the Roosters’ recent reunion to celebrate their 2002 Premiership glory, Fletcher added: “It was an awesome night. Greeny was away on holidays with his family, he was up on one of the islands up there. He said ‘Sorry boys, I can’t make it’. But he ended up (coming) as a bit of a surprise. He said: ‘I couldn’t not come with all the banter on WhatsApp.’
“He turned up and he had to go buy [clothes]. He just had boardies! He had to go buy it, he went to Best and Less or something. He had shirts that were too big for him, his pants were too tight. He (still) got on the dancefloor!”
But perhaps the most fitting story of Green’s dedication to his teammates dates back to that 2002 Grand Final – and his cheeky idea to bring the American tradition of drenching the winning coach in Gatorade down under.
Fletcher said: “He went to Gatorade and said: ‘If we do this, what will you give us?’
“He organised $10,000 or something and we used it for a trip away! This was the first time it was done.
“He said: ‘If you do it to Sticky, Gatorade is going to give us ten grand.’ We did it and Gatorade used that for a billboard the following year.
“We’d never seen that before, obviously it was big in American sport.”
Unsurprisingly, it was fellow larrikin Fletcher who helped carry the Gatorade vessel.
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