Hamilton Academical Football Club was established in 1874 by, as the name suggests, pupils and the rector of Hamilton Academy (1588-1972).
Although the academy’s colours were blue and green, the Accies played in red and white so as to distinguish themselves from the earlier Hamilton Football Club (which folded in 1878).
The Accies competed as founding members of the Lanarkshire Football League from 1893 until, following the resignation of Renton Football Club (1872-1922) in 1897, they were elected to the third division of the Scottish Football League. Since that time, the Accies have reached two Scottish Cup finals (1910/11 and 1934/35), though their spells in the top flight have been mixed. Their best ever top tier performance came in the 1934/35 season, when the Accies finished in fourth place with 48 points, behind Hearts (50), Celtic (52) and Rangers (55).
More recently, at the end of the 2013/14 season, the Accies gained promotion from the Scottish Championship to the Scottish Premiership, joining Dundee in the top tier for the 2014/15 season. Because of 2013’s launch of the Scottish Professional Football League and the restructuring of the Scottish league system, the Accies, who came in just behind Dundee in the Scottish Championship, had another opportunity for promotion by competing in several playoff rounds. There, they faced the Scottish Premiership‘s Hibernian in the second leg of their playoff schedule, playing away at Easter Road with a 0-2 deficit for which they had to make up in order to gain promotion. The Accies performed brilliantly, leading 1-0 at half time and adding a second goal in the 90th minute. After extra time, the score remained 2-0, leaving an aggregate score of 2-2 over two matches, forcing a penalty shootout. In the end, the Hamiltonians were victorious, sending Hibs down to the Scottish Championship and gaining promotion to the top tier for yet another shot at the top tier since their consecutive promotions and relegations in 2008 and 2011, respectively. The Accies’ stay in the top tier would last until the end of the 2020/21 season, when the club finished at the bottom of the table and were relegated to the Scottish Championship.
The Hamilton Academical kit did not feature a badge until 1979, when the current badge was introduced. This badge features a shield with three white cinquefoils derived from the Clan Hamilton coat of arms. The shield is encircled by a ring with the club’s name and founding date. For my redesign, I’ve drawn heavily from the original crest of Hamilton Academy, creating a minimalist ‘HA’ monogram within a shield, topped with a singular white cinquefoil.
I went with the Accies’ classic red and white hoops (used for most home shirts from at least 1876) for the home top and a historical and [an unintentional, though admittedly Inter Milan-esque] black and blue-striped away top. The away strip and both pairs of shorts feature the ‘HA’ monogram alone.
As ever, I am indebted to Dave at Historical Football Kits for some of the historical information used above.