Stuart Hamilton (or Stuey/Spud) went to school at Nunawading High, graduating in 1977. He began playing cricket in the Under 16’s at Heatherdale (1975) under the captaincy of Derek Clark. They won the flag undefeated, including “touching up Nunawading along the way”. In 1976, Stuey moved to Nuna as he could ride his bike to Mahoneys Reserve and more of his school mates were at Nuna, such as Jeff Woolley and Col Macwhirter. He went straight into the seniors and won flags in the 5ths (1978/79, under Kev Steele), 4ths (1979/80) and then 3rds (1980/1, under Bob Saker).
Stu played 2 games in the Firsts in the early 80’s, under Keith Joyce and Trevor Hutchins. Once, (in)famously at the time, he was promoted to the First XI after making a duck in the 2nds. One day, he put on 45 with Andy Sach for the opening stand, but Chris Harris scored a ton in the twos, so that was the end of it for him for awhile. A while !, Stu only played his next game in the First XI in 2008..a record span of 25 years !!.
Stu is mainly known as an opening batsman, his first century, under Bob Jenkin in the 4th XI, was in 1977 against Blackburn South High School. He opened the batting many times for Col James in the 2nds and used to infuriate Col continually playing flick shots (usually for 6) early in the innings.
In 2000/2001, Stu made 3 tons (21 years since the previous one). The first was 102 (before tea, almost entirely scored with flick shots over square leg) under Steve Minton. Amazingly, Stu got 5/27 that same game. He then scored 2 in a row under Dave Cowell in the 4ths (118 and 130).
In a semi-final in the early 80’s, Nuna 4ths were chasing 130 odd and Stu was involved in an opening partnership of 130 with Geoff ‘Crackles’ McCracken to win the game. Stu’s favourite innings however, is his last one (at the time of writing). Stu, at 47 years of age, was selected in the First XI for Round 11, 2007/08 after a great season in the 2nds. Stu opened the batting with captain coach Brad Vanderwert and put on 50 odd for the first wicket. Dave Stewart, perhaps the best bat in A1, was batting at 3 and Stu was still in when Dave came in to bat. Stu said to Dave …‘I can’t believe I would be waiting in the middle for you to come to the crease’. This was a moment of great pride for Stu who has always played where picked at Nuna and always aspired to play as high as he could.
Stu made 102 and took 5/37 in one game in 1979/80 in D2 as a 20 year old. He had to wait till 2000/2001 to score his next ton but he made up for the wait scoring 118*, 100 and 130. He played a game in the First XI in the early 1990s and then made his return to the side in 2008, approaching 50. Even in 2010/2011 when his mates were making runs in the lower grades, Stu put his hand up to play in the Ones where his club needed him. Good onya mate.
Off the field, Stu served on the committee as Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Social Secretary, General Committee, on and off for 15 years and was Association Delegate for three years (even when he wasn’t playing). He has run Trivia Nights, Poker Nights, Bunnings BBQs, Raffles, “Discos”, Karaoke Nights, golf days etc countless times and has organised many Trips Away.
Some of Stu’s ‘best ofs’ include:
- Best captain ever played with is Kevin Steele.
- Best bowler to watch was Russell Baird for his sheer speed.
- Best batsman to watch was Andrew Sach.
- Best Trip Away destination would be the last few at Albury (these days he can remember what he actually got up to).
- Best cricket memories are playing with Derek Clark, Jeff Woolley and David Cowell in the same team.
- Best social memories are the two weeks spent in Merimbula with a dozen Nunaboys each year for several years.
- Players he looked up to the most in his career are Kevin Steele, Mick McLachlan, Col James and George Dolan.
- Funniest characters ever at the club would be Jeff Woolley, Steve “Horrible” Hargraves and Bronson.
- Proud to be associated with the greatest club in the history of the Association.
Stu is also well known for his ‘devo-tion’ to cricket and somehow making his favourite band DEVO relevant to cricket. He, of course, has always has a Devo sticker on his cricket bat and is famous for ‘kicking’ on the field, particularly at milestone times or in his bowling run-up. Perhaps the best story of all these is the time when Stu entered the club social rooms after a game wearing the red Devo ‘energy dome’. He proceeded to then have a stand up argument with club stalwart and stickler for the rules Alan Jackson about not wearing hats in the social club. Stu’s view was that the energy dome was indeed not a hat, but an energy retaining structure…………which he needed to wear to replenish his energy levels to the correct balance after a long day playing cricket.
Away from cricket Stu is married to Mary and has two children, James and Emma. Most cricketers know his penchant for trivia, but perhaps would not know that he has appeared on Sale of the Century, Wheel of Fortune, Shafted (where he won $30,000) and “1 vs 100.”
Stu’s career at Nuna spans over 30 years, around 300 games and 6,000 runs. It is his contribution to the Club off the field however, that the Club recognised in awarding him Life Membership in 2007. It is his willingness to attend to any task, run countless functions, raise countless thousands of dollars, and be there when needed by his Club on countless occasions that makes Stu a legendary Nunawading cricketer.