A simile exists in Spanish which includes the name of this football club, "Tener más moral que el Alcoyano" ("To have more morale than Alcoyano"). The phrase possibly originated in the 1950s, when Alcoyano were losing a game by 0–13 at home but never gave up, still trying hard to score at the end of the match. However, this is disputed by some historians, with the origins being somewhat unclear.
Club Deportivo Alcoyano saw the light in 1929, after a merger between two clubs in the city, Levante and Racing. However, it only joined the Royal Spanish Football Federation four years later.
In 1942, the club first reached the Segunda División, going on to alternate between that level and the top flight in the subsequent years. Their debut in the latter took place with a 2–3 home loss against Real Murcia, in an eventual relegation, as second from bottom.
In 1947–48, Alcoyano maintained its first division status for the only time in its history, even finishing higher than Real Madrid. The following forty years, however, were spent mainly in the third and fourth divisions, with very brief spells in level two.
Alcoyano returned to the third category for 2004–05, consistently reached the promotion play-offs, and consistently failed to be promoted. In the 2005–06 season, the team also had a good run in the Spanish Cup, beating RCD Mallorca 4–1 and losing by just one goal (0–1) in the fourth round against Atlético Madrid.