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Childhood foes become best mates

Thurston and Smith 16051409
Cameron Smith helps Johnathan Thurston up off the turf at Suncorp Stadium. Credit: NRL Photos

The first memory Cameron Smith has of Johnathan Thurston is seeing him cry after an Under-10s football game.

These current day champions have been going head to head on the football field for more than two decades and over that time have built on of rugby league’s lasting friendships.

They have 657 NRL games between them, six Dally M Player of the Year awards, six Grand Final wins and share an honour roll as far as the eye can see.

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Smith and Thurston will be recognised for their incredible contribution to the game in a special testimonial match at Suncorp Stadium on February 23, 2017.

However before the accolades and accomplishments, the pair still recall those early days when the competitive fire was already burning bright.

“My club Logan Brothers played against (Thurston’s) Sunnybank,’’ Smith told News Limited.

“We won and my first memory of Johnno and how competitive he is came when he threw an intercept pass and we scored.

“I can still see him sitting at the other end of the field having a little cry about his pass. He hasn’t changed too much. He is still a sook.’’

Thurston regrettable recalls the incident also,  “Yeah I can remember that … it happened quite a few times. I used to drop my bundle and cry.”

Tickets will go on sale to general public for the testimonial match on Friday October 13 via Ticketek, North Queensland and Melbourne Storm members will be able to access tickets via a pre-sale on Thursday October 12.

Read the full story in the Herald Sun.