It is with great sadness that we report the death of John Hamilton on Wednesday July 17th. John had been suffering for some years with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy and both he and Wendy had been tackling his distressing last years with great courage and fortitude.
It is impossible in just a few lines to do justice to John's massive commitment to rugby and to a very wide range of King's activities. He carried out, at various stages, all the key functions of the Club. Having left school in 1953 he joined the Club and became its Honorary Secretary in 1962. He played on the wing for the 1XV from 1955 until the late 1960s, earning full Surrey County caps in 1957-8. He was feared by opposition teams both for his extreme pace and his power. When he and brother David played on each flank it was reckoned they were the fastest wings since jet aircraft were invented!
John later became a key figure in the development of the KCSOBRFC Veterans XV, led by Lawrie Glover. In these early days of Veterans rugby we had one of the strongest and most successful teams in London. John hung up his boots at the age of 50 but his devotion to the Club did not stop there. He became President in 1985 and continued until 1996. His support and total commitment to the Club and its 1XV made him a much loved and respected 'Pres'. A year after he stood down from official duties John joined the 1997 tour to Normandy and is remembered with great fondness by his fellow tourists having thrown himself into the hijinks with great gusto.
During this time John had, just as generously, given his time to Surrey County Rugby. For many years he chaired the County Disciplinary Committee where he handed out fair but firm punishment for rugby's naughty boys. It was no surprise that he was later elected to be President of Surrey, a task he carried out with great distinction from 1999-2001.
In addition to all this John was a Governor of KCS for 34 years, serving on its Finance and General Purposes committee for many years, and culminating with his election to the Chairmanship of the King's Governing Body in 2007 and as an Honorary Fellow of KCS.
John was also very active In the life of the Old King's Club which he also served in most major capacities.
Amazingly, perhaps, he also found the time to produce 3 fine sons, David (OK 1981), Ian (OK 1983) and Paul (OK 1989) all of whom played for the Club. Nobody in living memory has played such an integral part of King's life as John. He gave his time generously and willingly. His warmth, sense of humour and social presence will be much missed and we send our sincerest condolences and best wishes to Wendy and his family.
John's funeral service will take place on Tuesday August 13th at midday at Christ Church West Wimbledon, Copse Hill, SW20 0RZ.