Full Name: Hamilton Academical Football Club
Colors: Red, White
Stadium: New Douglas Park (5396)
Hamilton Academical are the only professional football club in Britain to begin life as a schools team. The Accies were hatched in the prestigious Hamilton Academy and had a reasonably successful first half of the 20th century, reaching two Scottish Cup finals, finishing as high as 4th, and maintaining a Scottish First Division place for forty years. The period to follow was much more difficult - when you're most well-known for being the first British club to sign players from Eastern Europe you know you're not lifting trophies often enough. The last few decades have certainly been more exciting for Hamilton, with four league titles, two cup titles, a seven year ground-sharing sojourn and a triumphant return home to a new stadium.
New Douglas Park:
Hamilton left Douglas Park in 1994 after 100+ years of occupancy. The old ground needed major redevelopment to meet new safety standards but instead the club spent seven years ground-sharing with Albion Rovers and Partick Thistle before New Douglas Park was finally opened in 2001. It is located just yards from the location of the old Douglas Park (now a Mini dealership). The original Douglas Park was located just off Douglas Street in Hamilton.
Previous Stadiums: South Avenue (1885-88), Douglas Park (1888-1994), Firhill Stadium (1994-96, 98-2001), Cliftonhill Stadium (1996-98).
Second Tier League Titles:
Fourth Tier League Titles:
Domestic Cup Titles:
Hamilton Academical History:
The Hamilton Academical Football Club was founded in 1874 by James Blacklock, the rector of Hamilton Academy. The Hamilton Academy was a prestigious school in Hamilton, Lanarkshire and one of the best in Scotland though it no longer exists as an independent entity. The Academy's colors were blue and white but another local club, Hamilton FC, were already wearing blue and white. Hamilton Academical adopted the colors of red and white instead and have used those colors for the duration except for a five year spell in the early 1900s when they wore cerise and french grey, the racing colors of the Alfred Douglas-Hamilton, the Duke of Hamilton.
Early matches were played at several parks and small grounds before the opening of Douglas Park in 1888, the stadium the Accies called home for over 100 years. In 1897 Hamilton joined the Scottish Football League Second Division, taking over the fixtures of Renton who resigned from the league that season. In 1904 the Accies won their first league title although they failed to win promotion, which was based on voting at that time. Two years later they were elected to the top tier of Scottish football for the first time and remained there for nearly four decades.
Hamilton were sometimes referred to as the Hamilton Academicals in their first decades although it is unclear if this was ever an official name used by the club.
Hamilton reached two Scottish Cup finals in this period, losing to Celtic (1911) and Rangers (1935). They also achieved their record league finish in this time period, fourth place in the 1934-35 season. Hamilton were relegated after finishing last in the 1946-47 season and since then their appearances in the top tier have been brief. The 2008-09 season marked their fifth season at the top since that relegation and the first in which they were not immediately relegated.
The early 1990s saw two cup titles come to Hamilton, the 1992 and 1993 Scottish Challenge Cup, a cup for clubs outside the Scottish Premier League. Just one year later however saw the sad final days of Douglas Park and Hamilton were forced to groundshare with Albion Rovers and Partick Thistle for seven long years. During that time (the 1999-2000 season) a new low was reached when the club were docked 15 points for not appearing at a match due to a players' strike over unpaid wages.
Recent developments have been much more positive however, with a Scottish Third Division title obtained in 2001, a Scottish First Division title in 2008 and Hamilton's first stay of more than one season in the top tier since before World War II.
Motherwell are Hamilton Academical's biggest rival, in a Lanarkshire Derby matchup. Hamilton and Motherwell are separated only by the River Clyde and are a mere mile apart. Other rivals include Airdrie United and Albion Rovers.
Hamilton Academical Logo:
The Hamilton Academical logo is based on the Hamilton coat of arms. Variations on this coat of arms can be seen in the coat of arms of the Hamilton Academy and the Duke of Hamilton among others.
Hamilton Academical Links:
|Last Updated on Monday, 13 February 2012 22:05|