John Peden Hamilton (part two)

Nov 24, 2021 | News

…..As for the Gloucestershire Cup games, Rovers drew 0-0 against City at Eastville on September 30th 1929. John didn’t play in that one, though he did play in the replay which wasn’t played until April 22nd 1930 at Ashton Gate when Rovers lost 4-1.

That season John played in the same side as legendary Rovers goalkeeper Jesse Whatley (372 league appearances for the club), who retired at the end of that campaign, and Cliff Britton who left for pastures new at the end of the season.

Britton went on to play for Everton, win nine England caps, represent the Football League and collect an FA Cup winners medal in 1933 when his side beat Manchester City 3-0. He won 12 wartime caps and was a successful post war manager with Everton and Hull City.

Also in the side was Ronnie Dix, who remains the youngest player ever to make his Rovers league debut, against Charlton Athletic on February 25th 1928 when he was just 15 years and 173 days old. He would go on to play for Blackburn Rovers, Aston Villa, Derby County, Spurs and Reading and win one full cap for England.

It wasn’t a particularly successful season for Rovers as they finished with just 30 points and in 20th position in the Third Division (South) table with only Gillingham and Merthyr Town below them.



(A caricature of John Hamilton which appeared in the local Bristol press when reporting on the tour to Holland).

John was one of only two players (the other was defender Jimmy Haydon) from that campaign to feature in the first game of the 1930/31 season, which ended in a 4-1 home defeat at the hands of Northampton Town.

It was the first of his 28 league appearances that season, when he again scored just once. That goal came against Exeter City, at St James’ Park, 17th September 1930.

He also played in all four of the club’s FA Cup ties that season, and also in the Gloucestershire Cup Final against City.

FA Cup results were as follows; a 4-1 home win against Merthyr Town, when John scored his only FA Cup goal for the club, and was described as ‘playing a plucky game and being a fearless tackler’, a 4-2 home win against Stockport County, a 3-1 home win against Queens Park Rangers and a 5-1 defeat at Blackburn Rovers.

It was another runners up medal in the Gloucestershire Cup, as Rovers suffered a 3-1 defeat against City at Ashton Gate on 1st October 1930.

He played under two managers that season as David McLean resigned in September 1930 and was replaced by a flamboyant character by the name of Captain Albert Prince-Cox.

One of his first actions was to organise a tour of the Netherlands, where Rovers defeated the Dutch National side 3-2 on November 16th 1930 and beat a Dutch club side called The Swallows 4-2 just a few days later.

John was one of a tour party that included 13 players, along with several club directors and manager Prince-Cox that travelled across the North Sea shortly after beating Coventry City 1-0 at Eastville on November 15th.

At 2.30pm on Sunday November 16th, twenty four hours after kicking off against Coventry, they were in action again, this time against the Dutch National side, in Amsterdam, where goals from Ronnie Dix (2) and Arthur Attwood secured a 3-2 win. The report says that both Dutch goals were scored by their centre forward Hulsman, who was born in 1900 and died in 1964. He was on the books of Go Ahead Eagles at the time and won four international caps for his country.

John played in this game, which saw Rovers field the following starting XI; Berry, Barton, Richardson, Black, Dinsdale, Hamilton, Forbes, Ball, Attwood, Dix, Young.

Keith Brookman