James "Jimmy" Hamilton

James "Jimmy" Hamilton was a player who had a very good early career, as a teen-age, three-time junior international, a full-back, then from aged twenty three seasons at St. Mirren and a Scottish cap and three more at Rangers before from only twenty-seven it going into terminable decline. By thirty for him football was over, at which point he also vanished personally. 

In part the footballing decline, which saw him from Govan spend almost a season each at Blackpool and Barrow and literally weeks at junior club, Armadale, back in Scotland, can be explained by injury. After a cartilage operation whilst at Ibrox in 1926 he was never the same. The disappearance after 1931 is more difficult to explain.

Jimmy Hamilton seems to have been born in central Coatbridge. His mother was local, his father a miner cum steelworker from Eastwood in Renfrewshire, the family in 1911 living in miners' accommodation in Bargeddie. It was still there a decade later with the twenty-year old James for the moment also hewing coal. But football via Vales of Clyde would be his way out, at least until premature retirement and reversion to labouring. 

But just before hanging up his boots James had married. Still registering as a professional footballer and living in Barrow he married Mary Walker in 1930 in Glasgow, she a professional dancer. They would seem to have a son the following year in Holytown south on Coatbridge and then settle in Glasgow. Certainly Jimmy, on his death in 1972 at the age of seventy-one in Belvidere Hospital, which stood on the banks of the Clyde at the Cunigar Loop, was recorded as living in Carntyne, Mary outliving him by exactly a decade.

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