…..The tour itinerary allowed for a short sight seeing trip the next day, though where they went, I have no idea. They were in action again on the Tuesday evening when they took on The Swallows.
A little piece of Rovers history was created that night as it was the first time they had played under floodlights. Ronnie Dix (2), Arthur Attwood and Frederick Forbes scored as Rovers ran out 4-2 winners. Barenbrecht and Tapp scored for the home side.
I did manage to find a report of that match and whilst the line-ups were not included, I was able to confirm that John was in the side.
The report, under the headline ‘Rovers in Holland – second match won handsomely’ began as follows; ‘Bristol Rovers won the second and final match of their Dutch tour, played at the Hague Stadium last evening, when they beat The Swallows by 4 goals to 2.
‘The game was played with the aid of floodlights, there being 80 arc lamps, 20 over each corner, 50 feet from the ground. It was certainly a novelty for the Eastville players who, however, enjoyed the game under the new conditions.
‘It was most interesting and was enjoyed by a crowd of quite 10,000. The Rovers thoroughly deserved their victory, being the more clever and balanced side.
‘Richardson figured at right back, Barton being his partner. He did much better than in the game against the national side and the same can be said of Hamilton, but Dinsdale was the outstanding player in the Bristol defence.
‘Dix was again a star with his clever footwork, but Forbes ran him very close for the honours of being the best performer, centring with more accuracy.’
Another reporter, under the name of Viking, said this; ‘There were many incidents of the tour that will be remembered, the chief being; The great play by Dix, who was in his element in both matches and scored four of the goals. His brilliant play made the attack sparkle while Hamilton and Dinsdale were also outstanding.’ This extract was accompanied by the caricature of John shown which was shown in part two.
From then until they played Southend United on January 28th 1931 John was a regular in the league side. However, he played only two more games after that, against Notts County and Swindon Town.
And so, just as they had provided the opposition on John’s debut, Swindon were the side he faced in his final league game for Rovers. That game, on 7th March 1931, attracted a crowd of 4,000 to Eastville and they saw a 3-1 win for the visitors.
Not only was it his final game for Rovers, it was the end of his league career and in June 1931 he signed for Scottish side East Fife. He was named Man of the Match in their 6-0 win against Edinburgh City in a Scottish Division Two match in January 1932 and in August of that year he signed for Armadale.
Whilst with his hometown side he appeared in their last ever Scottish League fixture, a 2-0 home defeat against Dundee United in front of a crowd of 1,000 at their Volunteer Park ground. Armadale were then expelled from the league after playing just 17 games of the 1932/33 season and their results expunged from the records.
The Armadale club disappeared and was replaced by junior club Armadale Thistle, in 1936, and they now play at Volunteer Park.
John had married Hilda Clutterbuck in Thornbury, on July 4th 1931 and following the end of his career in Scotland he joined Thornbury Town in February 1934, Thornbury Sports in September 1935 and Trowbridge Town in October 1935. He also played for Tytherington Rocks and worked at Parnalls in Yate.
John pictured with his son, Ian, whose story begins tomorrow. Photo courtesy of the Hamilton family