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, having been relegated from the 2020–21 Scottish Premiership. 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 twice 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; 147 years ago (1874)
GroundNew Douglas Park,
Hamilton, South Lanarkshire
ChairmanAllan Maitland[2]
ManagerBrian Rice
LeagueScottish Championship
2020–21Scottish Premiership, 12th of 12 (relegated)
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Brian Rice is the club's manager, and was appointed in January 2019.

Club history

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.[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

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

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]


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, one of three in the top flight alongside Almondvale (Livingston) and Rugby Park (Kilmarnock). 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 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.


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

Club records

Match records

  • Record victory: 10–2 vs. Cowdenbeath (October 1932)[20] and 10–2 vs. Morton (May 2014)[21][22]

Transfer records


Current squad

As of 23 July 2021[24]

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
2 DF  ENG Hakeem Odoffin
3 DF  SCO Scott McMann
4 DF  SCO Ben Stirling
5 DF  SCO Brian Easton (captain)
6 DF  SCO Jamie Hamilton
7 DF  SCO Kieran MacDonald
8 MF  SCO Scott Martin
9 FW  SCO Andy Ryan
10 MF  SCO David Templeton
11 MF  SCO Lewis Smith
12 DF  SCO Shaun Want
14 MF  SCO Lewis Spence
15 MF  SCO Ronan Hughes
17 DF  NZL George Stanger
No. Pos. Nation Player
18 MF  SCO Reegan Mimnaugh
19 FW  SCO Andrew Winter
20 FW  ZIM David Moyo
21 MF  SCO Kyle Munro
22 GK  SCO Ryan Fulton
23 GK  ENG Joe Hilton (on loan from Blackburn Rovers)
26 MF  SCO Marley Redfern
27 DF  SCO Matthew Shiels
31 GK  SCO Jamie Smith
32 FW  SCO Callum Smith
33 MF  SCO Daryl Meikle
35 DF  SCO Adam McGowan
36 FW  SCO Myles Gaffney
37 DF  SCO Chris McGinn

Player of the Year

2004 Brian McPhee[25]
2009 Tomáš Černý[26]
2013 Ziggy Gordon[27]
2017 Darian MacKinnon[28]


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

Alex Neil Scotland2005–2014Finished captaincy to become player-manager[29]
Martin Canning Scotland2014–2015Finished captaincy to become player-manager[30]
Michael McGovern Northern Ireland2015–2016Signed for Norwich City[31]
Michael Devlin Scotland2016–2018Signed for Aberdeen[31]
Dougie Imrie Scotland2018–2019Retired in 2019[32]
Darian MacKinnon Scotland2019–2020Contract expired[33]
Brian Easton Scotland2020–[34]

Former players

Coaching staff

As of 1 July 2021[24][35]
Head Coach Brian Rice
First Team Coach Guillaume Beuzelin
Goalkeeping Coach Brian Potter
Physiotherapists Rob Crimin
Calum MacAskill
Sports Scientists Ruaridh Cuthbertson
Sunnan Shah
Medical Officers Dr Simon Gibson
Dr Josh Thomson
Technical Analyst Keith Glendinning
Academy Director George Cairns
Head of Youth Gary Hocknull
Head of Childrens Football Kevin Taggart
Kit Manager Tom Robertson




  1. "Hamilton Academical Football Club". Scottish Professional Football League. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
  2. "Board Announcement: 18 December 2018". Hamilton Academical F.C. 18 December 2018. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  3. "Accies News". Hamilton Academical F.C. 26 February 2012. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. Retrieved 27 February 2012.
  4. 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. Hamilton Accies 2-0 Clyde, BBC Sport, 19 April 2008
  7. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 17 January 2010. Retrieved 26 September 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  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. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 January 2015. Retrieved 9 January 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. "Hamilton 1–0 Dundee United". BBC Sport. 28 May 2017. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  13. "Hamilton Accies shelve £200k youth academy plan after being hit by near £1m scam". Daily Record. 19 October 2017. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  14. "Hamilton Accies plan to sue RBS after £1m vishing fraud". BBC News. 6 February 2018. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  15. Chris Clements (6 February 2018). "Hamilton Accies scam: How club finances were wrecked by lie". STV. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  16. 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. Scottish Cup–Replayed Final, The Glasgow Herald, 17 April 1911 (via The Celtic Wiki)
  19. 75 years since Accies' Scottish Cup final against Rangers, Daily Record, 15 April 2010
  20. stats.football.co.uk (23 February 2020). "Hamilton results 1932–33". Retrieved 23 February 2020.
  21. Kenny Crawford (3 May 2014). "Hamilton 10 – 2 Morton". BBC Sport. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  22. "Accies 10 (Ten) Morton 2". Hamilton Academical F.C. 3 May 2014. Archived from the original on 3 May 2014. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  23. "Club History". Hamilton Academical F.C. Archived from the original on 28 May 2014. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  24. "First Team Profiles". Hamilton Academical F.C. 23 July 2021. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  25. Hamilton Academical official website – Forfar 0 Accies 4 15/05/04 Archived 15 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  26. Hamilton Academical official website – UCD 1 Accies 2 Archived 15 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  27. "@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.
  28. "@acciesfc Twitter Player of the Year". Hamilton Academical F.C. 20 May 2017. Retrieved 27 March 2021.
  29. Ben Mouncer (9 January 2015). "PROFILE: NEW CANARIES BOSS ALEX NEIL". Norwich City F.C. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  30. "Hamilton captain Martin Canning tells club's youngsters to use Premiership season as a springboard". Daily Record. 4 July 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  31. "Michael Devlin: 'I'm ready for captaincy at Hamilton Accies'". BBC Sport. 1 August 2016. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  32. "Hamilton captain Dougie Imrie says defence must improve". Daily Record. 10 May 2018. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  33. "To clarify: Dougie Imrie is @acciesfc club captain, Darian MacKinnon is team captain". Hamilton Advertiser. 14 July 2018. Retrieved 5 April 2019.
  34. "Brian Easton New Contract". Hamilton Academical F.C. 13 January 2020. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
  35. "Club Info". Hamilton Academical F.C. 17 June 2021. Retrieved 17 June 2021.
  36. "Hamilton Academical: Martin Canning becomes new manager". 23 January 2015 via www.bbc.co.uk.
  37. "Brian Rice: Hamilton Academical appoint former St Mirren assistant as head coach". 31 January 2019 via www.bbc.co.uk.