Formed 1878. Wound up in 1927 and re-formed as a junior club.
Founder member of Scottish Division Three 1923. Joined the Scottish Alliance after the Third Division was abandoned in 1926.
1923-1927 a b
Royal Albert were based in the typical West of Scotland industrial town of Larkhall in South Lanarkshire. At the time the club was formed, mining, weaving, textiles and steel making were the principle industries of the area. The club was formed by the amalgamation of two pit teams and named after the pit-owner's boat.
According to Scottish Sport History Royal Albert FC holds the distinction of having scored the first ever goal from a penalty. This new law had been introduced by the International FA Board in 2 June 1891. Four days later Royal Albert met Airdrieonians in the final of the Airdrie Charity Cup and in the early stages the referee, James Robertson, awarded a penalty to Royal Albert when one of their forwards was tripped in the opposition's penalty area. The spectators were bemused as the Airdrie players, who lined up in front of the ball as usual, were ordered to stand six yards behind the kicker with only the goalkeeper, James Connor, to defend the kick. The Royalist's James McLuggage entered the history books as the scorer of the first penalty.
Subsequent research by Brian Webb has cast doubt over this account and has uncovered evidence that the penalty kick was introduced 12 months earlier, in June 1890 (see The Straw Plaiters website).
Known as "The Royalists", they played in various regional competitions until 1915 when they joined the Western League, one of the competitions set up by the members of the Scottish League Second Division when that competition was suspended.
In 1923, Royal Albert became one of the founder members of the ill-fated Scottish Third Division, which was largely made up of Western League clubs. Small clubs like Royal Albert, which had managed perfectly well at regional level attracting a few hundred spectators, now had to travel as far afield as Peebles and Annan in the south, Montrose and Brechin in the north and provide match guarantees to visiting sides. This ill-conceived competition collapsed towards the end of the 1925-26 season with fixtures unfinished.
Royal Albert joined the Scottish Alliance along with the rest of the surviving Third Division clubs for one season and in 1927 they disbanded, reforming as Royal Albert Athletic JFC. This club continues to play at junior level to this day and still wear black and white stripes.
- (a) The Scottish League Clubs - Former Members IV (Norman Nichol 1994)
- (b) Alick Milne
- The details of Royal Albert's historic penalty are taken from Scottish Sport History submitted by Liz Jennings.