Hamilton Davie Image 2 Glasgow Celtic 1909

Hamilton Davie Image 2 Glasgow Celtic 1909


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A Scottish junior internationalist, Glasgow born outside left Davie Hamilton was signed by Celtic in April 1902 from Cambuslang Hibernian. He had impressed during trials for The Bhoys and he underlined his ability when he made a scoring debut on May 19th as Celtic defeated Hearts 3-1 in a Charity Cup tie at Parkhead. He also played in the British League Cup Final (played to raise money for the victims of the Ibrox Stadium disaster) victory over Rangers on 17th June 1902. He also spent part of that season on loan at Clyde then Ayr.

Having quickly established his credentials as a supreme wideman, Hamilton became a regular starter the following season. His weaving runs and electrifying pace made him a real menace to opposition defences. Few if any contempoaries could rival Hamilton for pure speed. Tricky and nimble, his quick footwork was captivating and he was aptly christened ‘The Dancer’ due to his dazzling dribbling. He won his only representative honour when he appeared for the Scottish League against the Irish League at Grosvenor Park, Belfast on 28th February 1903 in a 1-0 defeat. Astonishingly, Hamilton was never capped by Scotland.

In one of the greatest attacking line-ups in Celtic history Hamilton took his place alongside fellow greats Alec Bennett, Jimmy McMenemy, Jimmy Quinn and Peter Somers. Their manager Willie Maley commented “The Bennett, McMenemy, Quinn, Somers and Hamilton forward line was a treat to watch in their sinuous movement and deadly attacks”. Hamilton’s record in Auld Firm games was especially strong, he scored seven goals in 15 League matches against Rangers, and added another in the Scottish Cup for good measure. In 1905, it was Hamilton who scored the winning goal in a unique playoff match against Rangers to determine the champions. It was said at the time that for the average Celtic fan blessed to have seen Willie Maley’s incredible team in action this line-up “rolled off his tongue trippingly and lovingly, a litany that made music for him in five sweet symphonies – Bennett, McMenemy, Quinn, Somers and Hamilton.”

The 1907-08 season was particularly eventful for Hamilton. In the October he was suspended for two months for using ‘obscene and threatening language’ towards the referee during the Glasgow Cup Final against Rangers, with the remark believed to be “I wish I had a revolver!”. He missed the replay of that Final but returned in time for the Old Firm derby on New Year’s Day and scored the opening goal against Rangers. Celtic finished as League Champions, secured the Scottish Cup, with Hamilton scoring in the 5-1 win over St Mirren at Hampden Park, and finalised a clean sweep of trophies available by winning the Glasgow Merchants’ Charity Cup.

Hamilton was a key player in the Celtic side that claimed six Scottish League titles in a row between 1905 and 1910 and he won The Scottish Cup in 1904, 1907, 1908 and 1911. Hamilton played 262 times for Celtic in League and Scottish Cup matches and scored 60 goals.

He eventually departed Parkhead in December 1912 for Dundee and went on also to play briefly with Central Football League club Bathgate before retiring in 1914.

In 2011 a Celtic delegation including descendants of Hamilton and club representatives Jim Craig and Bobby Lennox attended Dalbeth Cemetery in the East End of Glasgow to mark his grave with a tributary headstone.

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