Unreliable History

The Railwaymen were founded by men who worked for the railway who previously played rugby and cricket in 1877.  Their name was taken from an amalgamation of the town’s name and the high regard in which they held Alexandra, the Princess of the time.  There was a controversial incident when they played the Swifts in 1888, when they claimed the crossbar was 2″ too low.  A replay was ordered, but Crewe were censured because they had measured the height before the match and only chosen to complain after the result had gone against them !!  They had some early success when reaching the semi-finals of the FA Cup in 1888, but Alex’s fall from grace was swift – dropping out of the League altogether from 1896 to 1921.  This included the 1894-95 season when they went the whole course without gaining an away point.

The club were finding the going tough, but still managed to be founder members of Divs. 2, 3 (North) and 4.  In 1924, they took part in a match against Bradford where there were four penalties awarded in just five minutes of play.  Amazingly, only one was scored, but they had to repaint the penalty spots at half-time as they were becoming obscured.  The 30’s had highs and lows.  The main stand burnt down and there were two Welsh Cup wins in 1936 and 1937.

Not much of note occurred for a number of years, apart from going 30 games without a win in 1956-57 and then they were drawn against Tottenham in the FA Cup 4th round in 1960.  A creditable 2-2 draw meant a replay at White Hart Lane, which the team travelled to by train arriving at Euston on platform 13 and going home from platform 2.  They lost the replay by 13-2.  They did manage to get through the 1967-68 season without losing at home though. 

Goals were hard to come by for a considerable time.  The first hat-trick in four years won Peter Coyne a colour TV in 1980 and he later scored another to win a unit to house it in !  A local garage was on a fairly safe gamble when they offered a car to any player who scored 30 goals in the 1982-3 season, especially as the whole club had only scored 29 the previous term !  It was at the end of that season that Dario Gradi arrived as manager and he is still there today, having turned the club into a solid outfit, with a reputation for playing good football and producing a string of talented young players. Much of the club’s success has come during his tenure with Wins in the play-off to go into the First Division in 1997 (after having identical records for seasons 1995-96 and 1996-97) and a spanking 8-0 victory over Hartlepool United in the Auto Windscreens Shield with each goal scored by a different player.  It looked like he had solved the scoring problem against a team that Crewe have played so many times, no other two clubs have met more often.

More recently the club have entered an agreement with Liverpool to exchange young players.  The original alliance was to be with Leicester, but that couldn’t be brokered.  There are two strange things about Crewe that you should know though.  They have never had a record made about the club and there is a phenomenon that was known as the “Gresty Clap” – not a nasty sexually transmitted disease, but an appreciation of good play by the Alexandra fans.

A darker shadow was cast over the club for their part in the child abuse scandal that revealed coaches at football clubs had preyed on young players, sexually abusing them over a number of years, with Crewe coach Barry Bennell one of the main perpetrators.  For a club noted for bringing through young players to play at a higher level, this is a stain that will not be removed for many years, although the surviving victims have to live with the psychological and emotional effects for the rest of their lives.

FAMOUS PLAYERS : – Bert Swindells, David Platt, Geoff Thomas, Eric Cheets, Bill Lewis, Terry Harkin, Bruce Grobbelaar, Rob Jones.

FAMOUS FANS : – Rob Cieka (Musician – The Boo Radleys), Gwyneth Dunwoody MP.


Club Records

Formed 1877

Turned Professional 1893

Became a Limited Company 1892

Previous names

Previous grounds



Club Colours
[Images courtesy of the wonderful Colours of Football website]


Record Football League Win 8-0  v  Rotherham United  (Division 3 North)    01.10.1932

Record Defeat 2-13  v  Tottenham Hotspur  (FA Cup Fourth Round replay)  (Away)    03.02.1960

Record Cup Win 8-0  v  Hartlepool United  (Auto Windscreens Shield First Round)    17.10.1995
8-0  v  Doncaster Rovers  (LDV Vans Trophy QF)  10.11.2002

Record Fee Paid £650,000 to Torquay United for Rodney JACK (July 1998)

Record Fee Received £3.4 million from Norwich City for Dean ASHTON (January 2005)

Record Appearances 482  –  Tommy LOWRY  (1965-1977)

Record League Appearances 436  –  Tommy LOWRY  (1965-1977)

Record League goal-scorer 126  –  Bert SWINDELLS  (1928-1937)

Record all-time goal-scorer 137  –  Bert SWINDELLS  (1928-1937)

Record goal-scorer in a League season 35  –  Terry HARKIN    Division 4   (1964-1965)

Most goals scored in a League match 5  –  Tony NAYLOR  v  Colchester United  (Division 3)  (Home)   24.04.1993

Record Home Attendance 20,000  v  Tottenham Hotspur   (FA Cup Fourth Round)     30.01.1960

Record total of goals in a League season 95  –  Division 3 North  (1931-1932)

Record League points total 2 points for a win  :  59  –    Division 4  (1962-1963)  (?? games)
3 points for a win  :  86  –    Division 2  (2002-2003)  (?? games)

Most Capped Player while at club 36  –  Clayton INCE  (Trinidad & Tobago)

Youngest Player Steve WALTERS  –  16 years and 119 days  v  Peterborough United   (Division 4)   (Home)  07.05.1988

Oldest Player Kenny SWAIN  –  39 years and 281 days  v  Maidstone United    (Division 4)   (Home)     05.11.1991


Stadium details 

Address :  The Alexandra Stadium, Gresty Road, Crewe, Cheshire  CW2 6EB

Telephone :   01270 213014
Ticket Office :  01270 252610

Capacity :   10,153
Away Allocation :   1,700
Pitch size :  91m x 60m  (100 yards  x 66 yards)
Official website :   crewealex.net


There are good directions to the Gresty Road Stadium on the Crewe Alexandra website with additional details on their fan guide and more information on the Away Days website.


Division Two Runners-up  (Third Tier) 2002-2003

League Two Runners-up  (Fourth Tier) 2019-2020

Football League Trophy Winners 2013



W. C. McNEILL  (Secretary-Manager) August 1892 – May 1894

J. G. HALL  (Secretary-Manager) August 1895 – May 1896

Robert ROBERTS  (Secretary-Manager) January 1897 – December 1897

J.B. BROMERLEY  (Secretary-Manager to 1911, Honorary Secretary until 1925) January 1898 – May 1925

Tom BAILEY August 1925 – May 1938

George LILLYCROP August 1938 – July 1944

Frank HILL July 1944 – October 1948

Arthur TURNER October 1948 – December 1951

Harry CATTERICK December 1951 – June 1953

Ralph WARD June 1953 – May 1955

Maurice LINDLAY August 1955 – May 1958

Harry WARE August 1958 – May 1960

Jimmy McGUIGAN June 1960 – November 1964

Ernie TAGG November 1964 – October 1970

Tom McANEARNEY October 1970 – July 1971

Dennis VIOLLET August 1971 – November 1971

Jimmy MELIA May 1972 – December 1973

Ernie TAGG January 1974 – December 1974

Harry GREGG January 1975 – May 1978

Warwick RIMMER August 1978 – May 1979

Tony WADDINGTON June 1979 – July 1981

Arfon GRIFFITHS August 1981 – October 1982

Peter MORRIS November 1982 – June 1983

Dario GRADI June 1983 – July 2007

Dario GRADI (Technical Director)/Steve HOLLAND (First Team Coach) July 2007 – November 2008

Dario GRADI (Caretaker) November 2008 – December 2008

Gudjon THORDARSON December 2008 – October 2009

Dario GRADI October 2009 – November 2011

Steve DAVIS November 2011 – January 2017

David ARTELL January 2017 – 


League Record

The Football League structure has historically been as follows …

1888-1892 1892-1920 1920-1921 1921-1958 1958-1992 1992-2004 2004 to date
First tier Football League Division One Division One Division One Division One Premiership Premier League
Second tier Division Two Division Two Division Two Division Two Division One Championship
Third tier Division Three Division Three
(North) and (South)
Division Three Division Two  League One
Fourth tier Division Four Division Three League Two

Elected to Division Three North  (Third Tier) 1921

Division Three  (Third Tier) 1921-1958

Division Four  (Fourth Tier) 1958-1963

Division Three  (Third Tier) 1963-1964

Division Four  (Fourth Tier) 1964-1968

Division Three  (Third Tier) 1968-1969

Division Four  (Fourth Tier) 1969-1989

Division Three  (Third Tier) 1989-1991

Division Four  (Fourth Tier) 1991-1992

Division Three  (Fourth Tier) 1992-1994

Division Two  (Third Tier) 1994-1997

Division One  (Second Tier) 1997-2002

Division Two  (Third Tier) 2002-2003

Division One  (Second Tier) 2003-2004

Championship  (Second Tier) 2004-2006

League One  (Third Tier) 2006-2009

League Two  (Fourth Tier) 2008-2012

League One  (Third Tier) 2012-2016

League Two  (Fourth Tier) 2016-2020

League One  (Third Tier) 2020-