Smith, Slater to be immortalised in Melbourne
Storm legends Cameron Smith and Billy Slater will be immortalised in Melbourne with statues to be built in their honour and displayed in the AAMI Park precinct.
The announcement was made by the Victoria Minister for Sport John Eren in front of the entire playing squad and hundreds fans who turned out at Monday's Civic Reception.
An enormous cheer erupted on Gosch's Paddock when the news was announced, that will see the adopted city of both champions deliver a lasting honour for their unmatched contribution in putting the game of rugby league on the map in Victoria.
"They are Immortal forever in a day," Minister Erin said of both Slater and Smith.
"The State Government along with the NRL and Storm will invest in statues for both Billy Slater and Cameron Smith."
Smith and Slater have played a combined 703 NRL games for Melbourne over the last 17 and 16 years respectively - boasting an incredible winning percentage of more than 70 per cent in the purple jersey over that time.
Their careers are decorated across Club, State and International level having achieved almost every team and individual accolade the game has to offer.
Storm CEO Dave Donaghy expressed the Club's delight at the generous honour that will be bestowed on arguably the Club's greatest ever players:
"Over the last 20 years Cameron and Billy have been the standout pioneers of rugby league in Victoria.
"They have inspired an entire generation of kids in Victoria to pick up a Steeden and emulate their heroics in the backyard. Not only have Cameron and Billy been outstanding ambassadors for the game on the field, they have been flawless role models of it.
"We are grateful to the State Government for their generous support and look forward to seeing both Cameron and Billy forever standing proudly outside AAMI Park."
Both Smith and Slater will be future members of the NRL Hall of Fame in due time and are widely considered to be made Immortals of the game.
The process is currently underway to commission the creation of the bronze statues, with their exact location to be determined and communicated in due course.