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).
Hamilton Academical competed as founding members of the Lanarkshire League from 1893 until they were elected to the third division of the Scottish Football League in 1897, following the resignation of Renton Football Club (1872-1922).
When I first redesigned the Hamilton Academical badge in 2014, the Accies had just gained 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. 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 brillaintly, 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, which forced a penalty shootout. In the end, the Hamiltonians reigned supreme, sending the Hibs down to the Scottish Championship and gaining promotion to the top tier for yet another shot at the Premiership since their consecutive promotions and relegations in 2008 and 2011, respectively.
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. Below is my initial redesign of the Accies’ badge, published on 26 May 2014:Despite my appreciation for the current badge, for this initial design, I thought I’d tidy it up a bit with a new typeface, more balanced rings and a complete redesign of the central shield. The white negative space between the helm and the coronet and the white inside the coronet seemed unneccessary to me, so I closed it all off and placed the year of the club’s establishment where the white once was.
Although I thought that my redesign was an improvement, it simply was not a satisfactory reimagining of the current badge. For my 2018 redesign, I drew heavily from the original crest of Hamilton Academy, creating a minimalist ‘HA’ monogram with a singular white cinquefoil:
For the shirt redesigns, I went with the Accies’ classic red and white hoops for the home top and a historical and (an admittedly Inter Milan-esque) black and blue-striped away top. The away strip also features a more stripped-back variant of the 2018 badge redesign:
As ever, I am indebted to Dave at Historical Football Kits for some of the historical information used above.