Bob Hamilton
Bob Hamilton
A. Player

Australia

Robert Alexander Hamilton was born on Thursday, 14th June, 1888, in Torbanlea, Queensland.

The goalkeeper signed for George Easton's Thistle in September, 1911 (after an extended trial/guest period), having most recently been with Petershill.

Aged 22, he made his debut appearance on Wednesday, 4th January, 1911, in a 1-0 win at home to St Mirren in a Benefit match.

In doing so, Bob joined the goalies' clean-sheet debutant's club.

He registered his second and last clean-sheet on Saturday, 4th November, 1911, in a 1-0 win away to Kilmarnock in the SFL First Division.

He played his last game for the club on Saturday, 11th November, 1911, in a 2-2 draw at home to Heart of Midlothian in the SFL First Division, having appeared as a Jag on 9 occasions.

His club-list included Petershill, Partick Thistle, Williamstown, Yarraville, Footscray Thistle and Melbourne Thistle.

Bob died on Tuesday, 23rd April, 1968, in Hawthorn, Victoria, aged 79.

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Bob Hamilton's Summary Totals
appearances position won drew lost goals
League 3 1 1 1 0
Competitive 3 1 1 1 0
All Games 9 2 4 3 0

Bio Extra

The son of a Scottish-born father Robert Alexander Hamilton (engine fitter) and an English-born mother, Agnes Hamilton (nÊe Anderson) who emigrated to Australia. Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton returned to Scotland with FIVE Australian children in tow, and the 1901 Scottish Census finds the Hamilton family living at 18 Gardner Street, Partick, amazingly a "Thistle address" which re-appears so often in our stories! At that time, 12-year-old Bob had one older sister, two younger sisters and one younger brother: Maggie (13), Rebecca (11), Ada (9) and William (6).

In Scotland, young Bob tasted footballing success early winning cups with the 76th company of the Boys Brigade and Anderson Benburb. When he came of age, he was snapped up by Petershill where that winning feeling continued for a few years from 1908 onwards. During his time, the Glasgow Consolation Cup, the Maryhill Charity Cup and the Scottish Junior Cup were all won, while the final of the Glasgow Evening Times trophy was also reached.

Bob had a trial/guest period with Thistle in the latter half of 1910-11, turning out for the reserves and in a number of first-team friendlies. He officially signed in September 1911, and featured in three top-flight matches before the year was out, a 3-0 loss away to Celtic, a 1-0 win away to Kilmarnock and a 2-2 draw at home to Hearts. Just when it seemed like he might be getting somewhere as a professional goalkeeper in Scotland, Bob received an invitation to return to the land of his birth, and the pull was too strong to hold him in Scotland.

Immediately upon his arrival in Victoria at the end of 1911, Bob was persuaded to sign for the Williamston club, a power in Australian soccer at that time. With Bob as #1, they were league champions of the Victorian first tier in both 1912 and 1913 (by which time they'd changed their name to 'Yarraville') and completed the double in each season by winning back-to-back Dockerty Cups, defeating Wonthaggi Rangers 3-0 in 1912 and St Kilda by 4 goals to 3 in 1913. In a later interview, Bob figured that this was the finest team ever seen in Victoria. In early 1915, he toured Tasmania with the team and played a key role when they defeated that Island State by 2 goals to 0. On returning to the mainland, Bob enlisted on 3 March 1915 in the Australian Army, 6th Infantry Brigade, 23rd Infantry Battalion and was shipped out to Egypt on 10 May 1915.

While serving in the army, Bob proved that he was equally good at other sports too, winning the 100-yards championship and heavyweight boxing championship of the 6th Brigade. He also organised, with marked success, sports and soccer tournaments during the period after the war. Bob did return to Scotland for a short while and was reportedly invited to rejoin Thistle, but nothing seems to have come of this. He married and sailed off back to Australia with his bride! From 1920, Bob played with Footscray Thistle for 6 seasons and was the difference maker in the club gaining the first Premiership of the Metropolitan Association. In 1926, Scottish pals invited him to join Melbourne Thistle, where he continued to show great form in his late 30s. Writing in September 1926, the Sporting Globe featured a glowing tribute to the 'keeper:

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There is not a more consistently good player to be found in Australia. He plays for the pure love of the game. Seldom is he missing from his accustomed place, and only sickness makes him miss a game once in a while. Every soccer enthusiast has a good word for "Old Bob" who is only old in the sense of his long connection with the game.

Bob spent the rest of his days in Australia, and worked as a Boilermaker, before passing away on 23 April 1968, aged 79. Bob was cremated on 26th April 1968 and his memorialisation is located at Springvale Botanical Cemetery – Banksia, Garden 4, Bed 7, Position no. 56. Looking at Springfield Botanical Cemetery, a request should be made that all Partick Thistle players be buried there, it is beautiful, see 'Scrapbook' tab above.

(WS/JK)



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