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Willie Hamilton (footballer)

Personal information
Full nameWilliam Murdoch Hamilton
Date of birth16 February 1938
Place of birthChapelhall, Scotland
Date of death22 October 1976(age 38)
Place of deathCalgary, Canada
Height1.77 m (5 ft 9 in)
Playing positionForward

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William (Willie) Murdoch Hamilton (16 February 1938 22 October 1976) was a professional footballer with Sheffield United, Middlesbrough, Heart of Midlothian, Hibernian and Aston Villa, and gained one cap for Scotland. He became known for his wild lifestyle which overshadowed his playing ability. His one-time manager Jock Stein later described him as comparable to Kenny Dalglish in footballing talent.

Hamilton signed for Sheffield United as a 16-year-old and made his debut in 1956. He scored 21 goals in 79 league games for United, before signing for Middlesbrough in 1961. He joined Hearts in June 1962 and was then signed for Hibernian by Jock Stein. Despite having handed in a transfer request shortly before Stein's arrival, Stein was able to get some astonishing performances out of Hamilton during his time at Easter Road. Stein would sometimes put up Hamilton in his own house on the eve of a big match to make sure he did not go out drinking. Hibernian's results had dramatically picked up during Stein's reign, partly attributable to the performances of Hamilton. However, Stein left Hibernian after less than a year to become manager of Celtic.

From Hibs Hamilton went to Aston Villa, then back to Hearts in 1967 (after sustaining injuries in a car crash) before playing for Ross County, Hamilton Academical, and in Australia and South Africa.He emigrated to Canada in 1975 where he worked as a bricklayer. He died of a heart attack in 1976.

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