Hamilton Academical F.C.

Hamilton Academical Football Club, often known as Hamilton Accies, or The Accies, is a Scottish football club from Hamilton, South Lanarkshire who currently compete in the Scottish Championship. They were established in 1874 from the school football team at Hamilton Academy and remain the only professional club in British football to have originated from a school team. Hamilton have won the Scottish Challenge Cup three times and have finished runners-up in the Scottish Cup twice. The club currently play their home games at New Douglas Park.

Hamilton Academical
Full nameHamilton Academical Football Club
Nickname(s)The Accies
Founded1874; 150 years ago (1874)
GroundNew Douglas Park
Capacity6,018[1]
Owner & CEOSeref Zengin
ChairmanJohn Brown
Head coachJohn Rankin
LeagueScottish Championship
2023–24Scottish League One, 2nd of 10 (promoted via play-offs)
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Club history

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Hamilton Academical F.C. was formed in late 1874 by the rector and pupils of Hamilton Academy. The club soon became members of the Scottish Football Association and initially began competing in the Scottish Cup and Qualifying Cup, before joining the Scottish Football League in November 1897 following the resignation of Renton.[2]

Throughout its history, the club has only reached two Scottish Cup finals. The first, in 1911, resulted in a goalless draw against Celtic at Ibrox Park. The replay, again held at Ibrox, attracted a crowd of 45,000 spectators and ended in a 2–0 defeat for Hamilton Academical. Their next chance at major silverware was the 1935 Scottish Cup final. Despite a Bertie Harrison goal (the club's only in a final of a major competition), Rangers went on to win the match in front of over 87,000 spectators by two Jimmy Smith goals.[3]

In the 1970s, Hamilton briefly resigned from the league due to mounting debts.[4] In 1994 the club sold its home ground, Douglas Park, to Sainsbury's supermarket, and subsequently ground-shared in Coatbridge and Glasgow for seven years.[4] During this period the club went through financial hardships and unpaid players went on strike.[4] As a result, Hamilton was unable to fulfil one fixture during the 1999–2000 season and were docked 15 points, the result of which was relegation to the Third Division.[5][4] The club moved into its New Douglas Park stadium in 2001.[4]

In 2008, for the first time in 20 years, Accies gained promotion to the top division of Scottish football, the Scottish Premier League.[6] In the 2009–10 season, a 3–0 victory against Kilmarnock on 17 April 2010 secured a third straight season in Scotland's top flight with four games remaining.[7]

The Accies' stay in the SPL ended in the 2010–11 season, when they were relegated after a 1–0 defeat away to St Johnstone.[8] Despite their relegation, Hamilton's time in the top flight was most notable for their emphasis on youth, including midfielders James McCarthy and James McArthur, both of whom went on to play for English club Wigan Athletic in the Premier League before gaining international recognition.

Return to the Premiership

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After a hard-fought campaign during the 2013–14 Scottish Championship season, Accies finished in second position on the final day of the season following a 10–2 home victory over Morton. Despite the disappointment of missing out on automatic promotion to Dundee, they went on to defeat Falkirk 2–1 on aggregate in the first stage of their Premiership play-off to face top-flight Hibernian over two legs for a place in the 2014–15 Scottish Premiership. Hamilton lost the first leg 2–0 at New Douglas Park, but two away goals in the return leg at Easter Road, including an injury time strike, forced the tie to extra time and penalty-kicks. Hamilton converted all of their spot-kicks and gained promotion back to the top flight.[9] Manager Alex Neil left the club in January 2015, to take up a position at English club Norwich.[10][11]

Hamilton found themselves in another playoff at the end of 2016–17, this time as the Premiership incumbents. A close tie against Championship representatives Dundee United ended in a 1–0 aggregate victory, with Accies youth graduate Greg Docherty scoring the only goal.[12]

2017 fraud incident

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In October 2017, an elaborate voice phishing fraud was perpetrated on Hamilton Academical.[13][14] Posing as a fraud investigator for the club's bank (Royal Bank of Scotland), the culprit convinced the club's account handler that funds were at risk from corruption within the company and should be moved temporarily, providing instructions to evade suspicion in the bank's genuine checks when monies began to be transferred.[15] The account handler also spoke to an accomplice via a telephone number provided by the main culprit to 'confirm' the legitimacy of the instructions.[15] With the employee sufficiently deceived, a total of close to £1 million was transferred out of the club's accounts over several transactions, with the fraud being discovered the following day.[14] The incident involved most of the club's working funds, causing the abandonment of a project to improve the youth academy.[13]

In February 2018, having only been able to recover a small percentage of their funds, Hamilton publicly declared that they were preparing to take legal action against the bank for a portion of the loss, believing the bank's security measures to have been inadequate in detecting the fraud (due to the unusual pattern of the transactions and the large sums involved);[14][16] RBS refuted this but stated they were working with the club and the police to identify those responsible.[14][16] The Accies chief executive Colin McGowan later described RBS as "morally bankrupt" after he was informed during discussions to prevent future losses that the bank's system did not allow customers to set daily transfer limits.[17]

Decline

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After spending seven years in the Scottish Premiership, Hamilton were eventually relegated, finishing 12th in the Scottish Premiership in the 2020–21 season, meaning the club returned to the Scottish Championship.[18]

Following their return to the Scottish Championship, Hamilton continued to struggle on the pitch and once again found themselves battling relegation. However, they managed to avoid back-to-back relegations with two games to spare after a 1–0 win away to Greenock Morton ensured safety. Accies eventually finished 6th on their return to the Scottish Championship.[19]

The 2022–23 season was once again a difficult one for Hamilton, as they again found themselves in a relegation battle. They managed to avoid automatic relegation, entering the relegation play-offs. Despite winning the 2023 Scottish Challenge Cup final, the winning goal scored in the thirtieth minute by Reghan Tumilty,[20] the club eventually lost in the Championship play-off final on penalties to Airdrieonians which confirmed the club's relegation to Scottish League One. This meant that Hamilton had been relegated twice in the space of three seasons, falling from the Scottish Premiership in 2021 to League One by 2023.[21][22] Hamilton were promoted back to the Scottish Championship after defeating Inverness Caledonian Thistle 5–3 on aggregate in the play-off final.[23]

Stadium

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New Douglas Park, home of Hamilton Academical

The club play their fixtures at New Douglas Park, which was opened in 2001. The pitch is an artificial surface. The stadium has an overall capacity of 6,018 and is composed of two permanent and one temporary stand.

The ground replaced Douglas Park, which was the home of Hamilton from 1888 to 1994. The ground was opened on 30 May 1888 with a match against Glasgow University. It was eventually sold to supermarket chain Sainsbury's in 1994, with the proceeds going towards the construction of the new stadium, which lies adjacent to the site of Douglas Park.

Between 1994 and 2001 the club had no home. They ground-shared at Cliftonhill and Firhill Stadium.

Since 2021 the club have been sharing New Douglas Park with Clyde.

Honours

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Chart of yearly table positions of The Accies in the Scottish league.

Club records

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Match records

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  • Record victory: 10–2 vs. Cowdenbeath (October 1932)[27] and 10–2 vs. Morton (May 2014)[28][29]

Transfer records

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Players

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Current squad

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As of 18 June 2024[31]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
3 DF   SCO Jackson Longridge
4 DF   SCO Lee Kilday
5 DF   SCO Jamie Hamilton
6 MF   SCO Jamie Barjonas
7 FW   SCO Euan Henderson
8 MF   SCO Scott Martin (captain)
9 FW   SCO Kevin O'Hara
15 MF   SCO Connor Murray
16 DF   SCO Kyle MacDonald
18 DF   AUS Dylan McGowan
20 FW   SCO Joe McGlynn
22 DF   SCO Reghan Tumilty
23 DF   SCO Chrissy McGinn
24 MF   SCO Michael Hewitt
25 DF   SCO Fergus Owens
No. Pos. Nation Player
26 DF   SCO Cian Newbury
27 FW   SCO Liam Morgan
28 MF   SCO Ben Williamson
30 GK   ENG Dean Lyness
33 DF   SCO Stephen Hendrie
44 MF   SCO Lewis Latona
47 FW   SCO Gravine Kalala
48 DF   SCO Chris Neeson
49 DF   SCO Arran Preston
51 GK   SCO Josh Lane
GK   ENG Charlie Albinson
MF   SCO Steven Bradley
MF   SCO Barry Maguire
DF   IRL Sean McGinty

On loan

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Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
31 GK   SCO Jamie Smith (on loan at Annan Athletic)

Player of the Year

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Year Winner
2004   Brian McPhee[32]
2009   Tomáš Černý[33]
2013   Ziggy Gordon[34]
2017   Darian MacKinnon[35]

Captains

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The following is a list of the officially appointed captains of the Hamilton Academical first-team.

Name Nation Years Notes Ref
Alex Neil   Scotland 2005–2014 Finished captaincy to become player-manager [36]
Martin Canning   Scotland 2014–2015 Finished captaincy to become player-manager [37]
Michael McGovern   Northern Ireland 2015–2016 Signed for Norwich City [38]
Michael Devlin   Scotland 2016–2018 Signed for Aberdeen [38]
Dougie Imrie   Scotland 2018–2019 Retired in 2019 [39]
Darian MacKinnon   Scotland 2019–2020 Contract expired [40]
Brian Easton   Scotland 2020–2023 Contract expired [41]
Scott Martin   Scotland 2023– [42]

Former players

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Coaching staff

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As of June 2024[43]
Role Name
Head coach   John Rankin
Assistant head coach   Darian MacKinnon
Goalkeeping coach Vacant
Academy director   Gordon Young
Youth Coach   Charlie Mulgrew
Physiotherapist   Caitlin Wright
Sports scientist   Euan Taylor
Kit manager   Danny Cunning[44]

Managers

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References

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  1. ^ "Hamilton Academical Football Club". Scottish Professional Football League. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
  2. ^ "Accies News". Hamilton Academical F.C. 26 February 2012. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. Retrieved 27 February 2012.
  3. ^ "Hamilton Academical Memory Bank - Club History". sites.google.com. Retrieved 15 May 2024.
  4. ^ a b c d e Alex Anderson (3 April 2014). "Hamilton Academical prospering with frugal ethos". When Saturday Comes. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
  5. ^ Accies down as appeal fails, BBC News, 5 May 2000
  6. ^ a b Hamilton Accies 2-0 Clyde, BBC Sport, 19 April 2008
  7. ^ "Club History". Archived from the original on 17 January 2010. Retrieved 26 September 2010.
  8. ^ Bradley, Paul (10 May 2011). "St Johnstone 1–0 Hamilton". BBC News.
  9. ^ Lindsay, Clive. "Hamilton Academical ended their three-year absence from Scotland's top flight after a dramatic penalty shootout that consigned Hibernian to relegation". www.bbc.co.uk. BBC. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  10. ^ "Alex Neil: Norwich City appoint Hamilton player-manager as boss". 9 January 2015 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  11. ^ "Update on Managerial Position". Archived from the original on 9 January 2015. Retrieved 9 January 2015.
  12. ^ "Hamilton 1–0 Dundee United". BBC Sport. 28 May 2017. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  13. ^ a b "Hamilton Accies shelve £200k youth academy plan after being hit by near £1m scam". Daily Record. 19 October 2017. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  14. ^ a b c d "Hamilton Accies plan to sue RBS after £1m vishing fraud". BBC News. 6 February 2018. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  15. ^ a b Chris Clements (6 February 2018). "Hamilton Accies scam: How club finances were wrecked by lie". STV. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  16. ^ a b Chris Clements (6 February 2018). "Hamilton Accies plan legal action against RBS over £1m scam". STV. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  17. ^ "Hamilton Accies say RBS are 'morally bankrupt' in hard-hitting swipe at bank". Daily Record. 22 March 2018. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  18. ^ "Hamilton 0-2 Kilmarnock: Accies relegated to Scottish Championship as Killie go into play-off against Dundee". Sky Sports.
  19. ^ "Moyo's early goal enough for Hamilton Accies" – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  20. ^ "Watch: Ten-man Hamilton cling on to win SPFL Trust Trophy". BBC Sport. 26 March 2023. Retrieved 14 May 2024.
  21. ^ "Airdrieonians go up as Hamilton drop to third tier" – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  22. ^ "Hamilton stay full-time amid takeover talks". BBC Sport. 12 June 2023.
  23. ^ "Hamilton Academical win promotion and relegate Inverness CT". BBC Sport. Retrieved 21 May 2024.
  24. ^ Scottish Cup–Replayed Final, The Glasgow Herald, 17 April 1911 (via The Celtic Wiki)
  25. ^ 75 years since Accies' Scottish Cup final against Rangers, Daily Record, 15 April 2010
  26. ^ Raith Rovers 0–1 Hamilton Academical, Andrew Petrie, BBC Sport, 26 March 2023
  27. ^ stats.football.co.uk (23 February 2020). "Hamilton results 1932–33". Retrieved 23 February 2020.
  28. ^ Kenny Crawford (3 May 2014). "Hamilton 10 – 2 Morton". BBC Sport. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  29. ^ "Accies 10 (Ten) Morton 2". Hamilton Academical F.C. 3 May 2014. Archived from the original on 3 May 2014. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  30. ^ a b "Club History". Hamilton Academical F.C. Archived from the original on 28 May 2014. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  31. ^ "First Team Profiles". Hamilton Academical F.C. 23 July 2021. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  32. ^ Hamilton Academical official website – Forfar 0 Accies 4 15/05/04 Archived 15 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  33. ^ Hamilton Academical official website – UCD 1 Accies 2 Archived 15 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  34. ^ "@acciesfc Twitter Player of the Year". Hamilton Academical F.C. 6 May 2013. Archived from the original on 28 February 2014. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  35. ^ "@acciesfc Twitter Player of the Year". Hamilton Academical F.C. 20 May 2017. Retrieved 27 March 2021.
  36. ^ Ben Mouncer (9 January 2015). "PROFILE: NEW CANARIES BOSS ALEX NEIL". Norwich City F.C. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  37. ^ "Hamilton captain Martin Canning tells club's youngsters to use Premiership season as a springboard". Daily Record. 4 July 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  38. ^ a b "Michael Devlin: 'I'm ready for captaincy at Hamilton Accies'". BBC Sport. 1 August 2016. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  39. ^ "Hamilton captain Dougie Imrie says defence must improve". Daily Record. 10 May 2018. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  40. ^ "To clarify: Dougie Imrie is @acciesfc club captain, Darian MacKinnon is team captain". Hamilton Advertiser. 14 July 2018. Retrieved 5 April 2019.
  41. ^ "Brian Easton New Contract". Hamilton Academical F.C. 13 January 2020. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
  42. ^ Thomson, Paul (9 March 2023). "Rankin: Martin's suspension a big blow to Accies, but others must seize jersey". Daily Record.
  43. ^ "Contact". Hamilton Academical F.C. 23 January 2024. Retrieved 23 January 2024.
  44. ^ https://twitter.com/acciesfc/status/1687029483662893056
  45. ^ "Hamilton Academical: Martin Canning becomes new manager". 23 January 2015 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  46. ^ "Brian Rice: Hamilton Academical appoint former St Mirren assistant as head coach". 31 January 2019 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
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