6 February 2011

Hammie Hewitt

Name: Hamilton Hewitt
Position: Outside-Right / Centre-Forward

Representative Honours: Ireland: 4 Amateur Caps (1931-1934).
Club Honours: (with Linfield) Irish Cup Winner 1930/31; Gold Cup Winner 1930/31; Charity Cup Winner; (with Cliftonville) Irish Cup Runner-Up 1933/34.

Club Career:
Clubs
Seasons
Signed
Fee
League
FA Cup
Other
Linfield
29/30-3?/3?
-
Amateur
-
-
-
Cliftonville
-
193?
Amateur
-
-
-
TOTALS
£-
-
-
-


Biography:
Few families can have produced a half-dozen sons who so excelled at their chosen sports as the Hewitts. Frank (Instonians), Tom (Queen's) and Victor (Instonians) all played rugby for Ireland while a fourth brother, Dick (Queen's) earned an Irish trial. Yet another brother, Willie played rugby and "soccer" with Instonians and Willowfield respectively and earned three Junior caps (1925-1927) before his career was ended by a fractured leg.

It was a sixth brother, Hammie, who most excelled at the kicking game, though he too split his loyalties between codes. He captained Instonians at rugby and played for Ulster at Inter-Provincial level, in his summers he played cricket for Ulidia and as a boy he had been school's champion at the high jump. All this no doubt gave him "the advantages to make good at soccer [he had] good command, speed, and dash and a boot in danger quarters of which any goalkeeper need be afraid."

Hewitt's first introduction to senior football had arrived at the tale end of the 1929/30 season when he led the line in Linfield's Charity Cup success after just a few outings for the Swifts. In the first half of the following campaign he concentrated more on rugby, briefly returning to the Linfield side as they claimed the Gold Cup. It was only in January 1931 that he resigned the captaincy at Instonians and committed himself to a Linfield side that had seen Joe Bambrick sidelined by a serious injury. Although lacking the polish of Bambrick, Hewitt proved an able stand-in and he delivered the opener in a 3-0 win over Ballymena in the 1931 Irish Cup final.

When Bambrick returned from injury Hewitt kept his place in the Linfield team by shifting to outside-right. It was a position to which he was well suited and in November 1931 it was on the wing that he played against England in an Amateur international, retaining his place for the January match against Scotland. Eventually displaced in the Linfield starting eleven by future international, Billy Houston, Hewitt left Windsor Park for Cliftonville.

While with the Reds Hewitt returned to the centre-forward role and regained his place place in the Amateur Ireland side. In April 1934 he was among the scorers as Ireland came from a 0-1 half-time defecit to defeat Scotland 4-1 at Solitude. That same season he was part of the Cliftonville side that surprisingly made the Irish Cup final, exploiting a couple of goalkeeping errors against Glentoran in the semi-final before succumbing 0-5 to Linfield in the decider at The Oval.

The Hewitt clan continued to produce fine rugby players for Hammie's nephews Dave Hewitt, John Hewitt and Gerald Gilpin all won caps for Ireland.

Ireland Amateur Cap Details:
14-11-1931 England. A L 2-3
23-01-1932 Scotland H W 4-0
17-02-1934 England. A L 0-4
25-04-1934 Scotland H W 4-1 1 Goal

Summary: 4/1. Won 2, Drew 0, Lost 2.

Photo and details from ISN article kindly forwarded by Jim Murphy.

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