Club And Player’s Points Of View
By NORMAN MACDONALD
A SERIOUS difference of opinion developed between Aberdeen F.C. and George Hamilton, their international forward, before Saturday’s match at Ibrox.
When told on Saturday morning that he would be included in the team against Rangers at Ibrox Hamilton refused to play. I was given this information officially by Mr David Halliday after the game.
The facts of the case told me by the manager are that he was in touch with Hamilton, who was on Z training at Aldershot, during the week. He told the player to join the Aberdeen party on Saturday morning at the completion of his Z training.
Mr Halliday states he informed Hamilton on his arrival in Glasgow that he would be a member of the team to play Rangers. The player replied that he did not feel throroughly fit and did not want to play.
Mr Halliday, after consulting three of his directors, again approached Hamilton and told him that he would be in the team. The manager added that he and the directors, in spite of Hamilton's statement about his fitness, were prepared to take the responsibility. Hamilton refused to play.
It was intended to play Hamilton at right half, but I have the assurance of the player himself that the question of which position he would fill had nothing to do with his refusal to turn out.
When I discussed the situation with Hamilton here is what he said:
"I have always been a good club man and I'm always ready to have a go anywhere in the team, providing that within myself I feel fit.
"I didn't feel thoroughly fit on Saturday. I found the Army training was totally different from football training.
"I fell fine when I left for my Z training, but I played in section matches and in one game against the P.T. permanent staff and I did not feel at my best. I felt I had lost a yard."
Hamillton also mentioned that he had travelled overnight, leaving London at 9.25 p.m. on Friday and arriving in Glasgow at 9 a m. on Saturday.
These are the facts as given me by the Aberdeen manager and the player. The matter now rests with the club officials.
Not Fitting In
Meanwhile the Dons suffered their third successive defeat.
Whether or not Hamilton’s inclusion would have made a difference to the result can only a matter of opinion.
The team certainly did not play well. It is not a question of lack of fight on the part of the players. The fact of the matter is that they don’t appear to be fitting together as a team. There was again a lack of cohesion against Rangers.
The Pittodrie players seem to have lost confidence in themselves. Only they can effect a cure. A victory might have a tonic effect on the team.
The Rangers side on Saturday was only a shadow of the old-style Light Blues. Granted they produced some bright moves the first half, but Had the Dons revealed any real cohesion and enterprise after the interval, they could have shaken Rangers up.
Sympathy With Smith
Again Aberdeen were unconvincing at wing half-back and in attack. Only Baird and Buckley showed to any advantage in the front line.
The man I was sorry for in the Aberdeen team was Smith. As a result of Hamilton's decision, Smith was switched from left back to right half and he was like a fish out of water. The player must be exonerated, however. He had never played at right half previously.
Smith was injured in the closing stages and went on the right wing. Thomson was another casualty. A few minutes from time, before Thornton had scored Rangers' third goal, the centre-half received cut above the eye in collision with the Ibrox leader and had to have two stitches inserted in the wound.
Source: Evening Express, 18th August 1952
Niven, Young, Little, McColl, Woodburn, Cox, Waddell, grierson, Thornton, Prentice, Liddell
Aberdeen Teamsheet Martin
Venue: Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow
Referee: J. Jackson, Glasgow