George Hamilton (footballer)
|This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (November 2009)|
|Date of birth||7 December 1917|
|Place of birth||Irvine, Scotland|
|Date of death||May 2001 (aged 83)|
|Place of death||Aberdeen, Scotland|
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Playing position||Inside forward|
|1937–1938||Queen of the South||31||(9)|
|1947–1948||Heart of Midlothian||13||(6)|
|1947–1951||Scottish League XI||3||(2)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
George Hamilton (7 December 1917 – May 2001) was a Scottish international footballer, who spent most of his 21-year career with Aberdeen. He also played for Queen of the South, Heart of Midlothian and Hamilton Academical.
Queen of the South
Born in Irvine, Hamilton started out with local junior side Irvine Meadow before moving to Dumfries to join Queen of the South. Hamilton was comfortable with the ball on either foot and had an obvious love of playing the game. After a single season with Queens (scoring nine goals in 31 league games) Aberdeen managed by Dave Halliday (another ex-Queen of the South player) purchased him for £3000 in April 1938.
Like many of his contemporaries, Hamilton's career was significantly disrupted by the Second World War and, when League football in Scotland went into abeyance in 1939, he returned to his native Ayrshire. Eventually, temporary Regional Leagues were established, and, due to war-time travel restrictions, players would guest for local sides. This resulted in Hamilton turning out for first Ayr United, then Rangers between 1940 and 1945.
Hamilton returned to Aberdeen at the end of global hostilities and enjoyed his most successful period, lifting the transitional 1945–46 League Cup then scoring the winner in the 1947 Scottish Cup Final against Hibernian. Despite this, when Heart of Midlothian offered £8000 plus the younger Archie Kelly for his services in December 1947, the Reds considered it good value for a 30-year-old, and accepted.
Heart of Midlothian
After only 17 appearances (scoring six goals in thirteen league games) for Hearts, an unsettled Hamilton returned to Aberdeen.
Return to Aberdeen
In March 1950 Hamilton played in a titanic Scottish Cup quarter final tussle against former club Queen of the South, now also a top division side. Playing at Palmerston Park and with Hamilton pulling the strings, the Dons were three goals up after 15 minutes playing some fine football. A Doug McAvoy goal reduced the deficit to two goals at half time. Queens unleashed a second half onslaught. Amid some frantic play Queens pulled a goal back with nine minutes remaining from Doug McBain. Billy Houliston playing out of position on the right wing then crossed for McAvoy's second goal to level the scores at 3–3. Frank Watson in the Aberdeen goal pulled off an outstanding last minute save to force a replay back in Aberdeen. In the 28th minute Aberdeen again went a goal up before Houliston (playing at his preferred centre forward after a tactical reshuffle during the game) lashed home the equaliser from a McAvoy pass. A minute later Queens were ahead for the first time in the tie – McAvoy again the provider for Charlie Johnston this time to trouble the score keeper. With no more goals Queens went through to the semi final for the first time in their history.
Age eventually caught up with Hamilton and he was transferred to Hamilton Academical in 1955, having largely watched from the sidelines as a young Dons side won the 1954–55 League title with the long serving Halliday still at the helm.
Hamilton retired a matter of months after joining Academicals, not long after his 38th birthday. In his eleven league appearances for the club he scored two goals.
Hamilton twice earned an international recall, initially in 1951, when he scored a hat-trick against Belgium, then remarkably in 1954 when aged 36. He played 2 games against Norway scoring the only goal of the game played in Scotland.
This latter return coincided with the 1954 FIFA World Cup and Hamilton was selected in the 22-man squad for Switzerland. Scotland decided to take only 13 players to the finals with Hamilton one of the players to stay at home on reserve with the likes of Bobby Combe and Jimmy Binning. However Hibs' Bobby Johnstone withdrew through injury with Hamilton called in to replace him in the 13 to travel. However Hamilton did not play in either of Scotland's two games.
|1||27 November 1946||Northern Ireland||Scotland 0–0 Northern Ireland||0||1947 British Home Championship|
|2||20 May 1951||Belgium||Belgium 0–5 Scotland||3||Friendly match|
|3||27 May 1951||Austria||Austria 4–0 Scotland||0||Friendly match|
|4||5 May 1954||Norway||Scotland 1–0 Norway||1||Friendly match|
|5||19 May 1954||Norway||Norway 1–1 Scotland||0||Friendly match|
- "George Hamilton". Londonhearts.com. London Hearts Supporters' Club. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
- George Hamilton, Dave Halliday and Billy Houliston full career profiles on "Queens legends" on the official Queen of the South FC website
- Hoggan, Andrew (1995). Hearts in Art (Hardcover). Mainstream. ISBN 1-85158-736-5.
- Crampsey, Bob (1995). Scottish Football League: The First 100 Years (Paperback). The Scottish Football League. ISBN 0-9516433-0-4.