Born in England in 1964, Robbie Slater emigrated to Australia with his parents as a young boy. He started his junior career in Sydney with Revesby Workers and rose through the junior ranks to join Auburn U16d. In 1982 Slater was signed by St George National League club as an attacking midfielder and played in the 1983 winning NSL championship squad. He also played for Blacktown City and Sydney United for a total of 251 NSL games, scoring 66 goals.
Following a successful domestic career, Slater played overseas with Anderlecht (Belgium), Lens (France) and English clubs Blackburn, West Ham, Southampton and Wolverhampton. In 1995 he won the English Premiership with Blackburn. He is still the only Australian to have an English Premier League winner’s medal. Slater was also the Southampton Footballer of the Year in 1997.
Slater was selected in the Australian teams for the 1988 Olympic Games and Bicentennial Gold Cup. He won selection for the 1990, 1994 and 1998 World Cup campaigns. He played in the 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup where Australia finished runners-up, losing to Brazil in the final. During his national career, Slater played against Brazil, Yugoslavia, Canada, Argentina, France, Scotland and New Zealand, won the Oceania Footballer of the Year Award in 1991 and 1993 and was runner-up in the Oceania Footballer of the Decade poll for 1988-1997.
In 1998 Slater joined new Sydney NSL club Northern Spirit as captain and retired in 2001 after playing 37 matches for Australia, 28 at A level and scoring one goal. Since retirement, Slater has taken up television commitments and formed the Robbie Slater Football Academy for development of young players aged eight to 10, with a percentage of profits donated to various charities. He is currently a senior commentator for the Hyundai A-League with FOX Sports.