John Turner Hamilton was signed by Hibs from Cumbernauld United in August 1967, but he spent two years in the reserves before becoming
a regular in Willie McFarlane's team which finished in third place in the League in 1969/70. He had lost his
first team place before Dave Ewing replaced McFarlane midway through the following season, but Eddie Turnbull brought him back into
the first team in 1971/72, when Hibs rose to 4th place in the League.
He won a Drybrough Cup winner's medal at the start of the
following season, but was no more than an occasional reserve as "Turnbull's Tornados" took shape. There was no doubting
his clever foot-work, and intelligent midfield play, but the slightly built, dark-haired young man in his early 20's enjoyed a night
out, which did not find favour with martinet managers. Neveretheless, Jock Wallace signed him for Rangers in the summer
of 1973, although he played in the first team no more often in his first two seasons at Ibrox than he did in his last season at Easter
It was a different matter in 1975/76, as recalled by his former team-mate at Ibrox, Alex Miller, who told Lindsay Herron
(The Scotsman, 19th October) : "Dingy liked the bright lights, let's say, and when he came to Rangers he was joining a group of players
who had been together for a long time.
"The one thing he hated doing was running, but, in fairness to him,
he worked really hard in training to show everyone that he wanted to be a success. We used to get a lot of track work
on a Monday and Johnny really knuckled down and gave it his all and that undoubtedly earned the respect of the players.
was not the quickest but he was a great passer of the ball and that's how he hurt teams. He could see the pass early and he
was great at hitting penetrating passes which the front players benefited from."
Hamilton played in the majority of the League
games in 1975/76 as Rangers won the first Premier Division, and he played in the 1976 Scottish Cup winning side when Hearts were beaten
3-1. That completed the treble for Rangers, but Hamilton did not come into the first team until late November, by
which time the League Cup was in the Ibrox trophy cabinet.
The 1-0 victory over Celtic on 25th October came in the midst of a
run of three League defeats and a draw, prompting Jock Wallace to undertake drastic surgery to his forward line. Out went Colin
Stein and Derek Parlane, and in came Hamilton, and young centre forward Martin Henderson. A 1-0 defeat at Aberdeen, Hamilton's
second match back in the first team, was Rangers' last of the season.
He kept his place during the following season, when Rangers
finished second to Celtic in the League and lost to them in the Cup Final. Aberdeen hammered them 5-1 in the League Cup
The rapid ascent of Bobby Russell, from Shettleston Juniors, consigned Hamilton to the reserve team in 1977/78,
although a brief return to the first eleven in March coincided with the League Cup Final, when Hamilton played in the team which beat
Celtic 2-1 in the Final. Russell was back for the Scottish Cup Final victory over Aberdeen as Rangers won
their second treble in three seasons, although Hamilton's four League appearances did not earn him another medal.
In the summer
of 1978 he signed for Millwall but played just twice in the League before returning to Scotland and St Johnstone. His two seasons
at Perth were his first taste of lower division football in Scotland, and he helped keep Saints in the new Division One.
Freed again in 1980, he signed for Blantyre Celtic, and joined Forth Wanderers in January 1983.
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