The iconic pair were honoured at the official unveiling of the statues created by Australian-based, internationally-renowned sculptors Gillie and Marc.
The performances of Smith and Slater over two decades were instrumental in Storm’s establishment as a NRL powerhouse and Victorian success story.
Smith is regarded by many as the greatest rugby league player of all time. He has almost won every collective and individual honour in the game and is the only player to have amassed more than 400 NRL matches, captaining the Storm to nine Grand Finals for three premierships including in 2020.
A goal-kicking hooker, he scored more than 2,780 points – the most in NRL history – in 430 games for Storm between 2002-2020. He also captained Queensland and the Australian Kangaroos and in 2019 was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his service to rugby league.
“AAMI Park has been my home away from home for almost 20 years. I have some incredible memories of this place which will stay with me forever.” Cameron Smith said.
“To have a statue outside the Club is humbling, and extra special given Billy is right there alongside me,” he said.
Slater is recognised as one of the greatest fullbacks to have played the game. Between 2003-2018 he played 319 games and scored 190 tries, making him the second highest try scorer in NRL history.
An explosive runner and staunch defender, he is a dual premiership player and Clive Churchill and Dally M medallist. He also represented Queensland and the Australian Kangaroos with distinction.
“I am extremely honoured to have a statue in Melbourne. To have contributed in the development of our game in this state is something I’m proud of. I love the fact it is alongside Cam, a great mate and someone who contributed so much to my career,” Billy Slater said.
The Victorian Government joined with Melbourne and Olympic Parks Trust, Melbourne Storm and the NRL to deliver the statues.
The 2021 NRL Premiership season kicks off on Thursday, 11 March, with reigning premiers Storm hosting the South Sydney Rabbitohs, at home at AAMI Park for the first time since Round 3 last season.