Belfast born left half Mickey Hamill was one of the great Irish footballers. After junior football for St Paul’s Swifts in 1906, Belfast Rangers in 1907 and Red Hand in 1907, he first played for home town club Belfast Celtic in 1909, making his debut that year against Shelbourne, and Manchester United, impressed by his talents, signed him on 31st December 1910 for £175. He made his Football League debut the following September at West Bromwich Albion but struggled to get a regular first team place and was given a free transfer back to Belfast Celtic in 1914 after 2 goals in 60 matches.
He had made his Irish international debut in February 1912 scoring against England in Dublin and in 1914 he led Ireland to their first win in the British Home Championship, which included beating England at Ayresome Park in what was perhaps Hamill’s most famous performance. However because of the First World War and other issues, he only played 7 times for Ireland, scoring once, winning his last cap in February 1921 against Scotland. He also played 3 times for The Irish League between 1914 and 1919, and scored in one of his 2 Ireland Victory International appearances at the end of the War.
He had 2 short loans at Glasgow Celtic in 1916 and 1918 playing 7 games for The Bhoys, and won the Irish Cup with Belfast Celtic in 1918, then in October 1920 he returned to Manchester, this time to play for City. In his first season of four, they finished runners up in the League Championship, and he left them in 1924 after 2 goals in 128 mayches to join the exodus to America, playing for two years in the nascent American Soccer League, mainly in Boston for the likes of Fall River Marksmen and Boston Wonder Workers, winning the 1925 American Professional Championship, and also briefly playing for the New York Giants. He again returned to Belfast Celtic in 1926 where he finished his career in 1930. He would later manage Belfast club Distillery.