Career: 1951 - 1953
Senior Games: 40
Senior Captain: 1951-52
VFL/AFL Clubs: Hawthorn 58 Games
The advent of the 1951 season heralded the coming of a new coach, Stewie Hamilton and a fresh start. The Seagulls were very downhearted at losing the first match to Dandenong by a solitary point but were pleased with the promise shown by their younger players and a strong performance from the new coach.
Hamilton was an excellent backup ruckman to Kevin Phillips. He provided a presence that gave other players confidence. He was prepared to carry a heavy workload and act as a protector for his young side when required. With renewed confidence, the team commenced winning games and managed to make the final four before losing the semi -final to a switched on Freighter’s team.
Stewie was a born leader, a man who could and did perform in every aspect of his chosen football club. Total involvement was Stewie’s mantra. He was just as happy having a couple of beers with his mates as doing the heavy stuff in the trenches on a Saturday afternoon. Immensely proud of his young players, he was delighted to introduce them to friends and acquaintances should they happen to meet socially outside the confines of the football club.
Stewie accepted his responsibilities willingly and was always prepared to do the hard stuff required to protect his charges as they learned the game. He was a leader with an extremely strong personality, someone who exhibited enormous on-ground presence and made it his role to ensure that the game was played in a manner to his liking by dealing with any unpleasant situations personally.
Although credited with two years as Captain/Coach, Stewie actually did the job for a third season as the appointee, ‘Bonnie’ Johnstone, upon finding his aging body unable to reach the levels of performance necessary for senior selection, chose to continue playing in the reserves rather than retire.