Tom Hamilton

Thomas "Tom" Hamilton was a Rangers' goalkeeper for eleven seasons from 1923, nine in the First Team, and more then two hundred and fifty appearances. But with a succession of other fine guardians - Harper and Harkness amongst them - he had to wait until almost the end of his playing career for a single cap in 1932. And it, although against England, was at the time when no Anglos were available and ended in a 3-0 defeat at Wembley.

However, Bill Struth clearly had huge faith in him as the Ibrox club took League titles every season from 1927-1931 and again in 1933 and the Cup every other year from 1928 to 1934. 

Hamilton was born in Strathaven in 1902, the second youngest of eight children, all boys. His father was a textile/weaving designer, also Strathaven-born, whose work took him to Renfrew and that is where young Tom grew up after his father's early death in the town in 1914. At nineteen he was living there with his widowed mother, his elder and younger brothers and working as a Ships Plater, that is as he was recruited into junior football with Kirkintilloch Rob Roy, from where at twenty-one he stepped up.

And it seems he remained living in Renfrew until marriage in September 1929 in the town to a girl from the street across the way, Eliza Murray. By then in terms of representative football he had in 1927 been a member of the Scottish Football Association touring party to Canada, between the sticks for all twenty games, nineteen wins, one loss. And he would continue to tour. In 1928 Rangers travelled to the USA and Canada, ten games, seven wins and three draws. In 1930 they did the same, fourteen games no losses with perhaps the final game the most intriguing. Against the Fall River Marksmen Rangers won 1-6 but that day there were not just eleven but nineteen Scots on the field. 

At age thirty-two Hamilton would leave Glasgow to play for Falkirk for a last season and on final retirement would settle in Saltcoats in Ayrshire, where he would run a caravan park until his death at the age of just sixty-two in 1964. Eliza would survive him by seventeen years, passing away in Renfrew in 1981. He is said to be buried in Woodside Cemetery, Paisley. 

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