Harry Hamilton was a Norwood and Adelaide premiership player. He also 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.
Born at North Adelaide on 15 January 1863, Harry began playing football with his younger brother Fred with the North Adelaide Juniors in the Adelaide and Suburban Association. He captained the side in 1881 and 1882.
Harry joined Norwood in 1883 and was a valuable member of the team which celebrated the club's sixth successive premiership. He missed a couple of easy shots as a wayward Norwood began by kicking 1.11 against Port Adelaide on 22 September, but it did not matter in the end because the red-and-blues clinched the flag with convincing 5.22 to 1.7 victory
Fred joined Harry at Norwood in 1884 and the brothers were in the team which visited Melbourne at the end of May, drawing with Carlton and losing by a goal to Melbourne and Geelong. 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".
Norwood unexpectedly struggled against Port at Adelaide Oval in June 1884, even though strengthened by having Fred Everett and Harry Hamilton in its ranks, and with its captain 'Topsy' Waldron back from Melbourne that day. Port led the scoring, 3.17 to 3.8, but the match was drawn because behinds then did not count.
Harry kicked a goal for Norwood against North Adelaide in each of two games at Kensington Oval in September. In the first game, North was leading by a goal when time was wrongly called six minutes early. Norwood protested and during extra time North scored again for an upset 4.4 to 2.10 victory. Two weeks later, Fred Letchford kicked five goals from six tries as Norwood turned the tables, 7.7 to 1.7.
Harry switched to Adelaide in 1885 and Fred joined him the following season. Harry at centre was in the best players when Adelaide beat Norwood, 7.8 to 5.5, on 24 May 1886 to take the premiership by one point from his former team. It was the old Adelaide club's first and only flag and gave it an injection of life for a couple of years before its gradual decline and final extinction in 1893.
Harry moved to Naracoorte as a clerk with the SA Railways and while there played cricket and football. He also met Susan Marshall and they married on 2 February 1894 at St Paul's Church. As an administrative assistant with the SA Railways, he then moved to Petersburg (now Peterborough) before settling back in Adelaide. He died at North Adelaide on 5 February 1939 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.