Ian ‘Chico’ Hamilton


Ian 'Chico' Hamilton

Aston Villa is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former player Ian ‘Chico’ Hamilton, who has died at the age of 73.

The thoughts of everyone at the club are with Ian’s family and friends at this difficult time.

The flamboyant and hugely-popular midfielder played an integral part in Villa’s emergence from the darkest days of the club’s history during the early 1970s, scoring 48 goals in a total of 252 league and cup appearances.

Born in Streatham, South London, on October 31 1950, Chico spent nearly seven years at Villa Park, although his debut season in claret and blue was one to forget.

Having been on Chelsea’s books as a youngster, he joined Villa from Southend United for £40,000 in July 1969. He made his debut against Norwich City the following month, but by the summer of 1970, the club were preparing for Third Division football for the first time in their history.

He made only infrequent appearances that season but in his second campaign he played a total of 55 games, scoring 12 goals, as Villa finished fourth in the table and became the third team from Division Three to reach the League Cup final.

Aston Villa League Cup winners 1975

He was a member of the side who beat a Manchester United team which included George Best, Bobby Charlton and Denis Law in the semi-final before losing 2-0 to Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley.

The following season Hamilton helped the club back to the Second Division, and he was also an integral member of the side who won promotion back to the top tier in 1974/75, when he was back at Wembley for another League Cup final.

This time he collected a winner’s medal (pictured far left above) as Villa beat Norwich City 1-0 thanks to Ray Graydon’s penalty rebound.

Hamilton played 50 league and cup games that season, hitting 13 goals, and he was also involved in 31 of Villa’s matches on their first season back in the First Division.

He joined Sheffield United in July 1976 and two years later moved to America, where he played for Minnesota Kicks and San Jose Earthquakes before coaching at a school in Ohio.

He retired to Spain’s Costa Brava a few years ago, and last year it was announced that he was suffering from dementia.

Rest in Peace, Chico.

Ian 'Chico' Hamilton

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