Royal Albert F.C.

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Royal Albert
Full name Royal Albert Football Club
Nickname(s) The Royalists (as seniors)
The Albert
Founded 1878
Ground Tileworks Park, Stonehouse
Manager Jamie Nesbitt
League SJFA West League One
2017–18 Central District Second Division, 1st of 12 (promoted)

Royal Albert Football Club are a football club, historically based in the town of Larkhall, Scotland but currently playing out of the nearby village of Stonehouse. Formerly a member of the Scottish Football League they now play in the Scottish Junior Football Association, West Region.


The formation of the club dates back to 1878, when two Larkhall pit sides joined together to form one team. These pits were owned by a Capt. Johns and he named the team after his boat the Royal Albert. The club spent over fifty years in Senior football, and qualified for the Scottish Cup on twenty occasions. Their greatest run came in the 1890–91 competition where they reached the fifth round before losing to Celtic in front of a record crowd of 5,000 at their Raploch Park ground.[1][2] In the same season, centre half James Clelland became the clubs' one and only full Scotland international when he was capped against Ireland in March 1891.[3] Royal Albert also have the distinction of scoring the first ever penalty kick in Scottish senior football, James McLuggage scoring against Airdrieonians in a local cup tie on 6 June 1891.[4]

The club competed in various leagues such as the Scottish Football Federation, Scottish Football Alliance, Scottish Football Combination, Scottish Football Union and Western Football League before becoming a founder member of Scottish League Division Three in 1923. After the Third Division was abandoned in 1926, Albert briefly returned to the Scottish Football Alliance and Provincial Football League before being wound up in 1927 and re-forming as a Junior club the following year.[5][6][7][8] The Royal Albert name continued to appear in the Scottish Qualifying Cup until 1936 and they qualified for the tournament on two further occasions, their last game being a 16–0 thrashing by Partick Thistle in January 1931.[1]

Royal Albert initially competed in Junior football with some success and twice reached the semi-final of the Scottish Junior Cup in 1930 and 1940 but fared less well in modern times, with the club playing in the bottom tier of the Central Region/District league set-up for 45 consecutive seasons from 1972 until 2018.[9][10] Albert won the last ever West of Scotland League Central District Second Division championship title in 2017–18 to qualify for the new SJFA West Region League One and in doing so, lifted the club's first honour for 81 years.[11]

Some notable players in the Junior era to step up from the club include Bobby Hogg (Celtic) and John Martis (Motherwell) with both playing for Scotland later in their careers, George Miller, who won the Scottish Cup in 1961 with Dunfermline Athletic and Davie White who played for and managed Clyde before managing Rangers.[12][13][14] Hogg is also Royal Albert's most capped Junior international with three caps in 1931,[15]

The team have been managed since June 2016 by former player Jamie Nesbitt.[16] Nesbitt succeeded Ian McCluskey, who had filled the role for the previous 12 years.[17]


Albert's first ground was Raploch Park which was lost to a housing development in the 1960s. The club moved to the Robert Smillie Memorial Park in 1964 but were forced to vacate this ground at the end of the 2006–07 season as it was demolished in order to re-develop Larkhall Academy.[18] The club ground-shared with local rivals Larkhall Thistle until 2013. After a proposed move to nearby Ashgill fell through, the club have moved to Tileworks Park, former home of Stonehouse Violet, on a permanent basis and will play out of there for the foreseeable future.[19]

This season 2017–18 the Albert have only played at home twice at Tileworks Park this season due to issues with the drainage at the park, they have been playing at Lesmahagow, and lately at Carluke.


  • Scottish Football Federation
    • Champions 1892–93
  • Scottish Football Alliance
    • Champions 1893–94
  • Scottish Football Combination
    • Champions 1903–04
  • Scottish Qualifying Cup
    • Winners 1922, 1924
  • Lanarkshire Cup
    • Winners 1888–89, 1889–90, 1893–94, 1895–96
  • Lanarkshire Junior Football League
    • Champions 1933–34, 1935–36, 1936–37
  • West of Scotland League Central District Second Division
    • Champions 2017–18


  1. ^ a b "Royal Albert". London Hearts Supporters Club. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  2. ^ Paul Smith & Shirley Smith (2005) The Ultimate Directory of English & Scottish Football League Grounds Second Edition 1888–2005, Yore Publications, p210 ISBN 0954783042
  3. ^ "Scotland - International Matches 1891-1900". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  4. ^ "Well up on cloud nine". Daily Record. The Free Library. 19 January 2009. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  5. ^ "History". Royal Albert FC. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  6. ^ Brian McColl. "Scottish Football Federation". Scottish Football Historical Archive. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  7. ^ Brian McColl. "Scottish Football Alliance". Scottish Football Historical Archive. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  8. ^ Brian McColl. "Scottish Football Combination". Scottish Football Historical Archive. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  9. ^ McGlone, David; McLure, Bill (1987). The Juniors - 100 Years. A Centenary History of Scottish Junior Football. Mainstream. p. 120. ISBN 1-85158-060-3.
  10. ^ McColl, Brian. "Central Junior Football League". Scottish Football Historical Archive. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  11. ^ Wilson, Fraser (19 May 2018). "Royal Albert boss praises title heroes as they silence the critics". Daily Record. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  12. ^ "Motherwell: 1946/47 - 2011/12". Post War English & Scottish Football League A - Z Player's Database. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  13. ^ Tom Drysdale (5 January 2009). "George Miller". The Scotsman. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  14. ^ "Clyde: 1946/47 - 2011/12". Post War English & Scottish Football League A - Z Player's Database. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  15. ^ McGlone, David; McLure, Bill (1987). The Juniors - 100 Years. A Centenary History of Scottish Junior Football. Mainstream. p. 308. ISBN 1-85158-060-3.
  16. ^ "Jamie Nesbitt and Billy Whiteford are the new management team". Facebook. Royal Albert FC. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  17. ^ Robert McAulay (12 November 2004). "It's a game of two gaffers for Harry". Daily Record. The Free Library. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  18. ^ Andy McGilvray (14 June 2007). "Junior club forced to quit ground after 43 years". Hamilton Advertiser. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  19. ^ David Bell (31 January 2013). "Royal Albert are on the move". Hamilton Advertiser. Retrieved 26 March 2013.

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Coordinates: 55°41′42″N 3°58′57″W / 55.69512°N 3.982458°W / 55.69512; -3.982458