Fred Hamilton and his older brother Harry played together with Norwood in 1884 before the pair went on to premiership success with Adelaide in 1886.
Harry, a Norwood premiership player in 1883, was the father of the legendary Jack 'Snowy' Hamilton, who shone with North Adelaide, West Adelaide, South Australia, Subiaco and Western Australia in the 1920s.
Fred was born at North Adelaide on 28 September 1864. A tall man, he attended Whinham College and played football with Harry for the North Adelaide Juniors in the Adelaide and Suburban Association.
The Hamiltons were named best players for a Combined Junior 23 which lost to Essendon, 8.17 to 2.4, at Adelaide Oval in June 1883.
Fred and Harry were both members of the Norwood team which visited Melbourne in May 1884. In the first match, Fred kicked two goals and Harry the other in Norwood's score of 3.12 to Carlton's 3.14 for a draw (points not counting). Although beaten by Melbourne 4.8 to 3.6 and by Geelong 3.8 to 2.4, Norwood impressed the critics and was seen as unlucky to have lost the toss in all three matches. The Sportsman paper described the two Hamiltons as "splendid players ... fit for any twenty in Australia, their marking and kicking being grand".
The brothers switched their allegiance from Norwood to Adelaide, which came from nowhere to win the 1886 premiership. Fred kicked 10 goals that season as Adelaide went on to finish one point ahead of Norwood on the premiership table after downing the red-and-blues 7.8 to 5.5 in the vital final match. It was the old Adelaide club's first and only flag and gave it a boost for a couple of years before its gradual decline and final extinction in 1893.
Fred served on the Adelaide match committee and as a special delegate.
In 1887 Fred moved to Broken Hill, where he spent 20 years. In that time he was in charge of the Mount Gipps mining and pastoral properties. He also was chairman of the Broken Hill Stock Board and a member of the Western Lands Board. Upon retirement, he and his wife returned to Adelaide and lived in Hill Street, North Adelaide. He died on 27 July 1926 and was buried at North Road Cemetery.
P Robins Oct 2017
* Our thanks to Nick Haines of the North Adelaide FC History Committee for his valuable input.