Ian ‘Chico’ Hamilton: Former Chelsea and Aston Villa footballer dead at 73

Aston Villa manager Tommy Docherty, wearing the pale shirt, with new signings (left to right) Bruce Rioch, Ian 'Chico' Hamilton and Neil Rioch, at Villa Park in 1969Aston Villa manager Tommy Docherty, wearing the pale shirt, with new signings (left to right) Bruce Rioch, Ian 'Chico' Hamilton and Neil Rioch, at Villa Park in 1969
Aston Villa manager Tommy Docherty, wearing the pale shirt, with new signings (left to right) Bruce Rioch, Ian 'Chico' Hamilton and Neil Rioch, at Villa Park in 1969 | Getty Images
Ex-Chelsea, Aston Villa and Sheffield United midfielder Ian ‘Chico’ Hamilton has died at the age of 73.

Former first division footballer Ian ‘Chico’ Hamilton has died at the age of 73. Once Chelsea’s youngest ever player, making his debut for the Blues at 16 years of age, he went to feature for clubs such as Aston Villa, Sheffield United and Southend United.

He scored on his debut for Chelsea in a league game against Tottenham Hotspur. Towards the end of his career, he spent time playing in the USA - he featured for both the Minnesota Kicks and the San Jose Earthquakes.

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Hamilton enjoyed perhaps the most successful spell of his career at Villa Park - during his time with the Villans, he won the League Cup in 1975. He also coached the girls’ football team at Thomas Worthington High School, in Worthington, Ohio following the conclusion of his active playing career.

Following Hamilton’s passing, Sheffield United posted a statement on their official club website, which reads: “All at Sheffield United are saddened to have been informed former player Ian 'Chico' Hamilton has passed away, aged 73.

“After playing over 200 games for Villa in seven seasons, he joined the Blades in 1976, signed by then boss Jimmy Sirrel. He played 73 times for United in all competitions, scoring 15 goals, but played during a period of turbulence both on and off the pitch at Bramall Lane.

“Chico began his career at Chelsea under Tommy Docherty and became their youngest League player and goalscorer when he netted on debut aged just 16 years and 138 days against Tottenham. He departed in 1978 and spent five seasons in the North American Soccer League playing for the likes of Minnesota Kicks and San Jose Earthquakes.

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“After his retirement, he did return to the Sheffield area for a time and worked for Rotherham United in a community role. The thoughts of all at Bramall Lane go out to his family and friends at this sad time.”