Billy Hamilton (footballer)
|Full name||William Robert Hamilton|
|Date of birth||9 May 1957|
|Place of birth||Gilnahirk, County Down, Northern Ireland|
|Height||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|1978–1979||Queens Park Rangers||12||(2)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
At club level, Hamilton played for Linfield, QPR, Burnley, Oxford United, Limerick, Sligo Rovers, Coleraine and Distillery. Hamilton is best remembered by Northern Ireland fans as the man who crossed the ball for Gerry Armstrong to score for Northern Ireland in their famous win against the hosts Spain at the 1982 FIFA World Cup. He played in every game and subsequently scored two goals himself in the second round game against Austria, and also played at the 1986 FIFA World Cup. He also twice won the British Home Championship in 1980 and 1984, scoring the winning goal against Scotland. Northern Ireland never lost when Hamilton scored. In total, Hamilton played 41 games, scoring 5 goals, for his country.
He is also remembered fondly by Distillery fans. He was a sensational signing by the club as Player/Manager in December 1989, after leaving Limerick City of the League of Ireland Premier Division, having managed them to a third-place finish in the 1988–89 season. He made his playing debut for the Whites on 22 March 1990 and in his three seasons made 72 appearances and scored 33 goals including one hat-trick. Knee injuries forced him to end his playing career in February 1992, but he continued to manage the team until February 1995. He guided the club to the Gold Cup victory in the 1993/94 season.
Hamilton has the distinction of designing a board game, Billy Hamilton's Football Academy, which was released in 1985.
Scores and results list Northern Ireland's goal tally first.
|1||16 May 1980||Belfast, Northern Ireland||Scotland||1–0||1–0||1980 British Home Championship|
|2||25 March 1981||Glasgow, Scotland||Scotland||1–1||1–1||1982 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|3||1 July 1982||Madrid, Spain||Austria||1–0||2–2||1982 FIFA World Cup|
|4||1 July 1982||Madrid, Spain||Austria||2–2||2–2||1982 FIFA World Cup|
|5||21 September 1983||Belfast, Northern Ireland||Austria||1–0||3–1||UEFA Euro 1984 qualifying|
- Hugman, Barry (2005). The PFA Premier and Football League Players' Records 1946–2005. Queen Anne Press.