Crewe Alexandra F.C.
Crewe Alexandra Football Club is an English professional association football club based in the town of Crewe, Cheshire, that competes in League One, the third tier of the English football league system. Nicknamed "The Railwaymen" because of the town's links with the rail industry, and also commonly known as "The Alex", they have played at Gresty Road since 1906. The supporters' fiercest rivalry is with Staffordshire-based side Port Vale.
|Full name||Crewe Alexandra Football Club|
|Nickname(s)||The Railwaymen, The Alex|
|2020–21||League One, 12th of 24|
The club was formed in 1877 as the football division of Crewe Alexandra Cricket Club, named after Princess Alexandra. Crewe reached the FA Cup semi-finals in 1888 and were then a founding member of the Football League Second Division in 1892. In 1921, the club was invited to join the newly created Football League Third Division North, where they stayed for the next 37 years before being placed in the new Fourth Division in 1958. The team achieved their first promotion after finishing third in 1962–63. Crewe were immediately relegated but were promoted again in 1967–68; they again lasted just one season in the Third Division.
Crewe spent 20 years struggling in the fourth tier before their fortunes were revived under Dario Gradi, manager for 24 years from 1983. He twice led the team to promotion to the third tier, and after two unsuccessful play-off campaigns, won the 1997 Second Division play-off final to win a place in the Football League First Division. After an absence of 101 years, they played at this second tier level―renamed the Football League Championship prior to the start of the 2004–05 season―for eight of the following nine seasons. Gradi encouraged Crewe to play attractive, technical football and built a reputation for developing young players, with future England internationals David Platt, Danny Murphy, Seth Johnson and Dean Ashton all emerging at the club. After Crewe dropped down to the fourth tier again in 2009, Steve Davis led the club to promotion to the third tier via the play-offs in 2012. In 2013, the club won its first and only Football League Trophy. Under David Artell, manager since January 2017, Crewe returned to third tier League One in 2020 and finished 12th in the 2020–21 season.
From late 2016 through to publication of the FA's Sheldon review in March 2021, the club—and Gradi—were heavily implicated in the football sexual abuse scandal, facing criticism for their handling of youth coach Barry Bennell, who had been gaoled in 1995 for child sexual abuse, and who was gaoled again in 2018. Gradi was suspended by the Football Association in December 2016, and club chairman John Bowler resigned in March 2021.
Formation and early yearsEdit
Crewe Alexandra Football Club was formed in 1877 as an offshoot of Crewe Alexandra Cricket Club (established in September 1866 by Thomas Abraham[a] and other workers at Crewe locomotive works),[b] and named after Princess Alexandra. They were based at the Alexandra Recreation Ground, adjacent to Crewe railway station, and played their first match against a side from Basford in North Staffordshire on 1 December 1877, drawing 1–1. In 1883, Crewe Alexandra's first match in the FA Cup was against Scottish club Queen's Park of Glasgow, losing 10–0. In February 1886, William Bell became the first Crewe player to win an international cap, playing for Wales against Ireland in Wrexham. In 1887–88, the club reached the FA Cup semi-finals, defeating Swifts,[c] Derby County and Middlesbrough en route, before going out to Preston North End. In 1891, the football club split away from the cricket club—a step that was condemned by Francis Webb, chief engineer of the town's London and North Western Railway works, who supported the exclusion of professional sportsmen; following the schism, Webb and the LNWR said the company would 'refuse to find employment in the Crewe Works for any professional football player'. On 5 March 1892, John Pearson became the first Crewe player to win an England cap, playing against Ireland in Belfast; he remains the only Crewe player capped for the full England side while playing for the club.
Crewe were founding members of the Football League Second Division in 1892, having previously been members of the Combination (1888–89) and the Football Alliance (1889–1892), but lost their league status in 1896 after only four seasons—finishing third from bottom, fourth from bottom, then bottom twice—possibly due to a player budget that was a quarter of that of other clubs. The club left the Alexandra Recreation Ground shortly before the end of the 1895–96 season, and after playing at a number of different venues, including in nearby Sandbach, they moved to the first Gresty Road ground in 1897 (in 1906 the current Gresty Road ground was rebuilt to the west of the original site). From 1896, Crewe spent two further seasons in the Combination followed by three seasons in the Lancashire League, before competing in the Birmingham & District League for ten years. They also won the Cheshire Senior Challenge Cup in 1907 and 1910. The team spent the 1910s in the Central League, finishing second in 1913–14 and 1920–21.
Crewe rejoined the Football League in 1921; they finished 6th in their first two seasons in the Third Division North but did not finish as high again until 1931–32 and 1935–36. In October 1932, defender Fred Keenor's last Wales appearance marked Crewe's first international cap of the 20th century. Crewe earned their first major honours by winning the Welsh Cup in 1936 and 1937, before being barred from entry—Crewe is not in Wales; English clubs, usually from border areas, participated by invitation. In 1936, Bert Swindells scored his 100th League goal for Crewe, going on to score 126 League goals for the club, a record that still stands, as well as goals in both Welsh Cup finals.
Post World War IIEdit
The period from the 1950s to the early 1980s was generally not a successful time for the club. Looking over Gresty Road, Michael Palin, in the 1980 BBC Great Railway Journeys of the World series, described Crewe as "like those other railway towns, Swindon and Doncaster, possessed of a football team which is perpetually propping up the bottom of the Fourth Division". Between 1894 and 1982, Crewe finished last in the Football League eight times, more than any other league club.
On 25 December 1954, Crewe embarked on a sequence where they did not win away from home for 56 matches; the run ended with a 1–0 win at Southport on 24 April 1957. Crewe finished bottom of Division Three North three times in a row from 1955–56 to 1957–58, tallying just 28, 21 and 23 points from 46 games in each respective season. The club was placed into the newly formed Fourth Division in 1958–59.
All-time records were set against First Division Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup third round in 1960. A new record Gresty Road attendance of 20,000 saw Crewe hold Spurs to a 2–2 draw on 30 January. On 3 February, Tottenham convincingly won the replay 13–2, Crewe's record defeat. The following year, however, Jimmy McGuigan's Crewe side defeated another First Division club, Chelsea, 2–1 in the FA Cup at Stamford Bridge on 7 January 1961. Chelsea's side included former Crewe player Frank Blunstone—who scored Chelsea's goal—as well as England internationals Jimmy Greaves, Peter Bonetti and Terry Venables. Crewe were then again drawn against the eventual double-winning Spurs side, who won 5–1 in the fourth round at White Hart Lane.
1960s promotions and relegationsEdit
In 1963, Crewe secured their first promotion to the Third Division, winning the season's final game against Exeter City, with Frank Lord scoring the only goal in front of a crowd of 9,807 at Gresty Road. Lord holds the record for most hat-tricks for the club with eight. The club finished in third place, behind champions Brentford and Oldham Athletic, but were relegated back to Division Four the following season. In the 1964–65 season, Terry Harkin scored a record 34 league goals for Crewe. Managed by Ernie Tagg, the club achieved promotion for a second time in 1967–68, but again spent just one season in the Third Division.
1970s and early 1980sEdit
From 1969, Crewe spent 20 years in Division Four, finishing bottom in 1971–72, 1978–79 and 1981–82, and not achieving a top half finish until 1985. In 1974, they came within two minutes of taking Aston Villa into extra time in a League Cup third round replay at Villa Park. In 1977, Tommy Lowry played his record-setting 475th and last game for the Railwaymen; he had earlier passed Peter Leigh's total of 430 appearances between 1960 and 1972. From February to September 1979, the club went a record 16 matches (15 league, one League Cup tie) without winning at Gresty Road. In December 1979, manager Tony Waddington signed the goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar who kept eight clean-sheets in his 24 matches played, and, on 5 May 1980, scored a penalty—his only professional goal—to seal a 2–0 victory over York City.
The Gradi years (1983–2011)Edit
In June 1983, after Crewe finished second from bottom at the end of the 1982–83 season, the club appointed Milan-born Dario Gradi as manager. He looked to build an academy structure to develop players that could be sold to help fund the player development programme. Among his early transfer successes were Geoff Thomas and John Pemberton (both signed from Rochdale and sold to Crystal Palace, in 1987 and 1988 respectively), and former Manchester United apprentice David Platt, signed in 1985 and sold to Aston Villa for £200,000 in February 1988.
Under Gradi, and despite some Crewe fans' initial reservations, Crewe played attractive, technical football and gained a reputation for developing young talent. Steve Walters became the youngest player to pull on a Crewe shirt, aged just 16 years and 119 days when he played against Peterborough United on 7 May 1988. Gradi's efforts paid off in 1989 when Crewe won their third promotion, a 1–1 draw at Tranmere Rovers, enough to take both teams into the Third Division. Meanwhile, on 7 January 1989, Crewe had hosted Aston Villa—and Platt—at Gresty Road in the FA Cup third round, taking a 2–0 lead before the visitors rallied to secure a 3–2 win, with Platt netting the winner but refusing to celebrate against his former club. A year later, on 6 January 1990, Crewe were again drawn away at Chelsea in the third round; Walters gave Crewe a first-half lead at Stamford Bridge before Chelsea equalised in the 82nd minute to force a replay which they won 2–0.
Crewe were relegated in 1991. However, despite further player sales―defender Rob Jones joined Liverpool for £300,000, then Craig Hignett was sold for a club record £500,000 to Middlesbrough―the club reached the 1993 Third Division play-off final but lost against York City at Wembley. Crewe then gained promotion in 1994 after a final day victory at Chester City. In the same year, Neil Lennon became the first Crewe Alexandra player to gain an international cap since Fred Keenor in 1932 when he was selected to play for Northern Ireland against Mexico. Crewe twice lost in play-off semi-finals, to Bristol Rovers in 1995 and Notts County in 1996, before returning to Wembley in 1997 where a 1–0 victory over Brentford in the Division Two play-off final put the club back in the second tier for the first time since 1896.
Second tier survivalEdit
Crewe achieved their highest finishing position, 11th, in the 1997–98 First Division season. Gradi kept his team in the division until 2002, despite a matchday income on which many more lowly clubs could not survive. Boosting the finances, notable player sales included Lennon (to Leicester City for £750,000), Danny Murphy (to Liverpool for an initial fee of £1.5m), and Seth Johnson (to Derby County for £3m). Gradi celebrated his 1,000th game in charge of Crewe on 20 November 2001.
After one season in the Division Two the team were promoted back to Division One at the end of the 2002–03 season, having finished in second place—Crewe's first runner-up position—with Rob Hulse scoring 22 league goals, and being named in the PFA Team of the Year, ahead of a £750,000 transfer to West Bromwich Albion. Crewe retained their Division One place in the 2003–04 season, during which assistant manager Neil Baker took temporary charge between 22 September and 17 October 2003 while Gradi underwent heart surgery. At the start of the 2004–05 season, Crewe were rated one of the teams most likely to be relegated from the newly renamed 'Championship'. In the event, they put in a good showing in the first half of the season, but after selling Dean Ashton to Norwich City for £3 million in the January 2005 transfer window, Crewe failed to win until the final match of the season, when they defeated Coventry City 2–1 to avoid relegation on goal difference. However, they were relegated to League One (level three) the following season. Nonetheless, Crewe were named the "Most Admired Club" in the 2006 Football League Awards.
By the summer of 2007, Gradi was the longest-serving manager in English league football, having completed 24 years in sole charge of the club. Crewe announced that, from 1 July 2007, Gradi would take up a new role as the club's technical director while gradually allowing newly appointed first-team coach Steve Holland control of the team.
Holland's first season was a disappointment as the club narrowly avoided relegation, finishing 20th with 50 points. Ahead of his second season, he spent half a million pounds on new signings, while striker Nicky Maynard joined Bristol City for £2.25 million. However, despite a positive pre-season, Crewe took only nine points from their first 16 games. The board sacked Holland as first team coach in November 2008, and re-appointed Gradi as caretaker manager.
On 24 December 2008, former Stoke City manager Gudjon Thordarson was appointed as Holland's successor. He made a promising start, and received the February 2009 Manager of the Month award (the only time a Crewe manager has won the award), but the team suffered a poor end-of-season run, not winning for 10 games, and were relegated to League Two. On 2 October 2009, after nine months in charge and another poor run of results, Thordarson was sacked, and Gradi was reinstated as caretaker manager. Despite lingering close to the playoff places for the majority of the season, another run of poor form saw the club finish 18th. Crewe improved to 10th in 2010–11 and, in November 2011, Gradi finally stepped down as manager and returned to his previous role as director of football focusing on youth development.
2011 to present dayEdit
Steve Davis was appointed manager in the same month. Previously manager of nearby Nantwich Town, Davis had been appointed assistant manager in June 2009, replacing former assistant Neil Baker. Davis immediately led the team to a 16-match unbeaten run in early 2012 up to 7th position, earning the club a play-off place. Crewe defeated Southend United in the two-legged semi-final, extending the unbeaten run to a club record 18 matches and securing a play-off final against Cheltenham Town at Wembley on 27 May 2012 which they won 2–0; the goalscorers were academy graduates Nick Powell and Byron Moore.
Before the 2012–13 season, Crewe sold Powell to Manchester United, and on transfer deadline day captain Ashley Westwood joined Aston Villa. However, with new Academy players coming into the first team, Crewe returned to Wembley to win the Football League Trophy, beating Southend United 2–0 in the final in April 2013. In the league, Crewe finished in mid-table; they ended the season by fielding a team whose starting line-up were all Crewe Academy graduates.
In March 2014, John Bowler, Crewe chairman since 1987, was honoured with the Contribution to League Football Award at The Football League Awards. Dario Gradi had earlier won the same award, in 2011. In the 2015 New Year Honours, Bowler was awarded an MBE for services to football; Gradi was presented an MBE in January 1998.
Crewe retained their place in League One in the 2013–14 season, but started the following season poorly, gaining four points from the first 11 League games. Some sustained runs of better results pulled the club out of the relegation places. The team needed at least a home draw against Bradford City to secure safety but lost 1–0 and had to rely on results elsewhere to ensure League One football for another year, finishing two points above the bottom four in 20th.
The 2015–16 season started in a similar pattern, with the team winning just two of their first 15 league games. They also crashed out of the FA Cup in the first round against non-league Eastleigh, forcing Davis to defend his position as the 'right man' for the job. Crewe's relegation to League Two was confirmed following a 3–0 defeat at local rivals Port Vale, with five games remaining. After an initially promising start to the following season, Crewe's form slumped during the final months of 2016, and on 8 January 2017, Davis was sacked as Crewe manager.
Former Crewe defender and Academy operations manager David Artell replaced Davis. Artell maintained the flow of Academy players and, as Crewe improved to 15th at the end of the 2017–18 season, he emulated Davis in selecting another starting line-up who were all Crewe Academy graduates.
After 36 years involvement with the club, Gradi, 78, announced his retirement from all positions at Crewe Alexandra on 7 October 2019. In February 2020, further changes to the club's board were announced with local businessman Stuart Whitby and former Nantwich Town chairman Tony Davison joining the board following a £1.75m buy-out of majority shareholder Norman Hassall. The Railwaymen Supporters Society also raised £250,000, to earn the right for a Crewe fans' representative on the club's new board.
On the pitch, Artell's progress since 2017 culminated in Crewe vying for promotion for much of the 2019–20 season, with the club top of the table (ahead of Swindon Town on goal difference) when the football season was suspended in March 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. On 9 June, Crewe's promotion to League One was confirmed, but Swindon were crowned League Two champions on the basis of average points per game. Artell was selected as League Two Manager of the Year in the League Managers Association Awards, and two Academy graduates, Perry Ng and Charlie Kirk, were named in the PFA League Two Team of the Year. Crewe finished 12th in League One at the end of the 2020–21 season – the club's highest finish since relegation from the Championship in 2006.
Alexandra Recreation GroundEdit
Until 1896, Crewe played at the Alexandra Recreation Ground, located just to the north of the modern-day Gresty Road. After playing at a variety of venues in 1896 and 1897, including in nearby Sandbach, the club returned to the same area of Crewe, adjacent to Crewe railway station, to play at the first Gresty Road ground, located to the south-east of the original stadium. In 1906 the ground was demolished to make way for some new railway lines, and a new Gresty Road stadium was built on a site directly to the west.
The pitch runs approximately east to west, with teams playing either west towards Gresty Road or east towards the railway station. The main stand has always been situated on the south side of the ground. Until the 1990s, the main stand was a wooden structure, built in 1932 after a fire destroyed the original stand, offering the ground's only (wooden) seating plus a standing area―'The Paddock'―while the other three sides were all standing terraces. This configuration saw the club's record attendance when 20,000 people watched the FA Cup third round tie against Spurs in 1960.
During the 1990s, phased modernisation saw open terracing at the 'Railway End' (at one time a roughly formed 'ash bank' terraced with sleepers) replaced by a new family stand in 1993. The 'Gresty Road End' (then the main away supporters area) was also replaced by an all-seater stand in 1995; and the partially-covered northern stand (the home supporters' 'Pop Side') was replaced by an all-seater stand in 1996–97. Completion of the final phase in 2000, including construction of a new £5.2 million main stand, saw some reorganisation of seating allocations. Away fans are currently accommodated in the stand along the northern touchline, with the option of additional capacity in the family stand for particularly large visiting contingents; Crewe hosted its first 10,000+ crowd in the now all-seater stadium in 2000 with the record attendance of 10,092 when Crewe played Manchester City on 12 March 2002. The Gresty Road End and main stand are solely for home supporters.
In June 2021, the club agreed a £0.5m naming rights deal with long-term shirt sponsor Mornflake; the ground will be called the Mornflake Stadium until 2023-24. Also known as the Alexandra Stadium, it has an all-seated capacity of 10,153. It features four stands:
- The Air Products Stand seats 6,809 spectators and also has a directors area and media seating, and houses the club's offices, team changing rooms, hospitality facilities, ticket office and club shop.
- The Rhino Safety Stand, also known as the Gresty Road End, accommodates 982 spectators and 4 disabled spectators. A bar for home supporters is situated to the north of this stand.
- The Blue Bell Family Stand, also known as the Railway End, accommodates 682 spectators.
- The Whitby Morrison Ice Cream Van Stand, formerly the Pop Side, accommodates 1,680 away spectators, and also houses the ground's matchday video filming facilities.
Should the ground require expansion, the most likely change will be redevelopment of the Ice Cream Van Stand to become a two-tiered stand.
Excluding a 10-year spell playing in white shirts and blue shorts from 1886 to 1896, Crewe Alexandra have played predominantly in red and white. A scarlet kit was adopted for a short spell in the mid-1920s. The red shirts earned the early nickname of 'The Robins', though the club is more commonly referred to as 'The Alex' or 'The Railwaymen' (reflecting the club's railway works founders, the town's associations with the railway industry, and the club's proximity to Crewe railway station).
The town's crest appeared on the team's shirts in the 1958–59 season. This included a lion―associated with the Marquess of Crewe―holding a cogged wheel, a larger six-spoked railway wheel, and two wheatsheaves reflecting south Cheshire's agricultural connections. This was replaced in 1975 by a simpler badge with a lion holding a railway wheel―a motif borrowed from British Railways―on a circle containing the words 'Crewe Alexandra Football Club' arranged around a football. The current badge, adopted in 1998, features a lion perched on a football, encircled by a laurel and the club's name; it dropped the railway wheel, prompting some Crewe fans to demand the club "bring back the wheel".
Since the late 1890s, the main Crewe playing strip has always featured a red or predominantly red top, usually with white shorts (though red and black shorts have also been briefly adopted) and red socks. The current shirt sponsor is Crewe-based cereals supplier Mornflake―also based in Gresty Road―whose logo has appeared on the shirts since 2005, and is set to continue through to 2023–24.
Supporters and rivalriesEdit
Crewe is a small town: its built-up area had a total population of 71,722 in 2011. Founded by employees of the railway works, the club drew many of its supporters from the works, as well as residents from more rural areas surrounding the town. The club's location next to Crewe railway station has also helped supporters travel to and from games at Gresty Road. From the 1920s through to the 1960s, attendances typically averaged around 6,000, but local derbies could more than double crowds: the visit of Stoke City on 26 October 1926 attracted 15,102, for example, while Port Vale drew 17,883 on 21 September 1953. Cup matches against major clubs such as Spurs also drew large crowds (a record 20,000 in 1960). However, league attendances dwindled in the 1970s and 1980s, averaging 3,345, with many games watched by under 2,000 people; just 1,009 watched a 1–1 draw with Peterborough United on 4 February 1986. Crewe's resurgence from the mid-1980s under Gradi boosted local interest, with 5,000-plus attendances increasingly common, even as Gresty Road's transition to an all-seater stadium began to restrict numbers in the late 1990s; average attendance peaked at 7,741 in 2004 during Crewe's years in the Championship. League Two crowds before the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown in 2020 averaged 4,580, just above their all-time average, 4,576.
Crewe's main rivals are fellow English Football League team Port Vale. As of March 2021, the clubs have played 81 games since 1892 (8 games against Burslem Port Vale); overall, Crewe have won 20 games, Port Vale have won 38, with the teams drawing 23 games. The rivalry (known by some since the 1980s as the A500 Derby) intensified after the millennium, when both clubs were in Leagues One and Two, with close encounters sometimes resulting in violence and arrests. On 22 February 2014, Crewe beat Vale 3–1, at Vale Park and there was trouble before, during and after the game, with several arrests made and flares thrown on the pitch. In January 2015 at Vale Park, Crewe won 1–0 to seal their first league double over Port Vale, and two arrests were made at the game, with minor disturbances between rival fans after the match. Six arrests were made at Gresty Road during the 22 September 2018 meeting between the two sides. One study in 2019 ranked the Port Vale-Crewe Alexandra rivalry as the 14th biggest rivalry in English professional football.
Crewe also maintain smaller rivalries with Wrexham, Shrewsbury Town, Stoke City and traditional local Cheshire derbies with Macclesfield Town, Chester City, Stockport County and Tranmere Rovers. The Railwaymen's rivalry with Stockport intensified somewhat in 2009 when Stockport all but relegated Crewe from League One, after beating them 4–3 at Edgeley Park. Crewe then returned the favour on 30 April 2011, when they beat County 2–0 at Gresty Road, confirming County's relegation to non-League football.
Songs and musicEdit
Crewe's fans were the first to sing the famous football song "Blue Moon"―also sung by fans of Manchester City―(with lyrics that do not quite match the Rodgers and Hart original) and said to be a response to the gloomy days of the 1950s and 1960s, or reflecting an old joke that the team only wins once in a 'blue moon', ie, rarely.
During the 1990s, one Crewe supporter, a classically trained musician Richard Sutton, was known for taking a trumpet to games, playing occasional fanfares such as the theme from Star Wars during matches. The Crewe-based dance trio Dario G were named after Dario Gradi.
Railwaymen Supporters SocietyEdit
Aggregating and formalising several former Crewe supporters groups, and supported by the national Football Supporters' Association, the independent Railwaymen Supporters Society was established in 2018, and incorporated as a community benefit society on 8 July 2019. Initiatives have included a campaign, Project250, to raise £250,000 to invest in club shares and gain representation on the club's board (achieved in February 2020), and the establishment of an Ex-Players Association (Gareth Whalley is its president).
Crewe's investment in young players began in the late 1980s when then manager Dario Gradi and club chairman John Bowler got the local council to contribute towards the costs of an all-weather pitch at Gresty Road. This formed the starting point for a youth coaching facility, which by the early 1990s was coaching 120 youngsters every week. In 1995, Crewe leased a 20-acre site at Reaseheath, near Nantwich, planning a £750,000 training and player development facility largely funded by transfer sales. In 1996, Crewe received a lottery grant to develop a youth coaching facility in nearby Shavington. By 2015, player sales had generated over £20 million which had contributed to modernising Gresty Road and developing Crewe's Academy, making it the only club outside the top two divisions to have a Category Two academy club.
Players who have passed through the ranks at Crewe include the England international players Geoff Thomas and David Platt, Welsh international Robbie Savage, and Northern Ireland internationals Neil Lennon and Steve Jones. All these were youngsters signed from other clubs, but the Academy also nurtured Crewe's own trainees – most notably full England internationals Rob Jones, Danny Murphy, Seth Johnson and Dean Ashton and Wales international David Vaughan.
Sexual abuse scandalEdit
On 16 November 2016, former Crewe defender Andy Woodward revealed that he had been the victim of child sexual abuse by former football coach Barry Bennell (convicted as a paedophile in the US in 1994) at the club in the 1980s. By the time club chairman John Bowler responded to the revelations, on Monday 21 November, six other individuals had contacted the police, with Woodward's Crewe teammate Steve Walters alleging he was another of Bennell's victims. Woodward criticised Crewe for failing to apologise. On 27 November 2016, a third former Crewe player, Anthony Hughes, revealed that he too had been abused by Bennell, as did Crewe trainee, later Wimbledon and Northern Ireland international Mark Williams.
Bennell was tried at Liverpool Crown Court in early 2018, and convicted of 50 offences of sexual abuse against 12 boys (and on 20 February 2018 was sentenced to 30 years in prison). After the guilty verdicts on 15 February, victims including Andy Woodward and Steve Walters read statements outside court. Crewe Alexandra expressed its "deepest sympathies" to Bennell's victims, saying it was not aware of any sexual abuse by Bennell nor had it received any complaint about sexual abuse by him before or during his employment with the club, though this has been disputed.
Walters accused Crewe of "victim blaming" in a bid to avoid compensation payouts. He and at least one other former Crewe player have launched High Court damages claims of upwards of £200,000 against the club; an eight-week trial is listed to start in October 2021. On 19 March 2019, the Guardian reported Crewe Alexandra planned to contest victims' claims, but later (27 March 2019), reported an apparent U-turn in Crewe's approach; it had agreed an out-of-court financial settlement with one of Bennell's victims. Andy Woodward had unsuccessfully sued Crewe for damages in 2004.
Crewe were additionally criticised for not holding an independent review into how they dealt with historical child sex abuse allegations. In March 2018, the said that, as it had fully co-operated with police investigations, it did "not intend to commission a further independent investigation," and the police's report had also been supplied to the FA review headed by Clive Sheldon. This decision was criticised by local MP Laura Smith, by MP Damian Collins, chair of the DCMS select committee, by Crewe Town Council, and by the Professional Footballers Association's Gordon Taylor. In his final report, Sheldon said he "liaised with the Club and its lawyers with a view to suggesting other lines of enquiry that could usefully be followed up by the Club. Ultimately, the Club agreed to conduct those further enquiries, and provided me with a report setting out its conclusions."
The FA's 710-page report, published on 17 March 2021, identified failures to act adequately on complaints or rumours of sexual abuse at eight professional clubs including Crewe. Considering whether senior Crewe people knew about Bennell, Sheldon concluded they had not received specific reports of abuse. However, directors had discussed concerns about inappropriate behaviour, and the club "should have done more to check on the well-being of the boys". Following publication of the report, Crewe Alexandra apologised to all survivors of Bennell's abuse, expressing "wholehearted regret" about their ignorance of his crimes, and Gradi also apologised." With Gradi "effectively banned for life" from football for safeguarding reasons, there were also calls for Crewe chairman John Bowler to resign; Bowler announced his resignation on 25 March 2021.
Crewe Alexandra have never won a division title, and have only been runners-up twice: in the Football League Second Division in 2002–03, and in League Two in 2019–20. Crewe's highest finishing league position was 11th in the First Division in 1997–98, the second tier.
- 2nd place promotion: 2019–20
- 3rd place promotion: 1962–63, 1993–94
- 4th place promotion: 1967–68, 1988–89
- Play-off winners: 2012.
In the major cup competitions, Crewe reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup in 1888. They have reached the third round of the League Cup ten times (1960, 1974, 1975, 1978, 1992, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2008), losing 1–0 to Aston Villa in a replay at Villa Park in 1974, and taking cup holders Manchester United into extra time at Gresty Road in 2006 before losing 2–1.
While Crewe is not in Wales, English clubs, usually from border areas, have participated by invitation in the Welsh Cup, which Crewe won twice, in 1936 and 1937. The club won the Cheshire Senior Cup 19 times up to 1998, and have won it a further three times, most recently in 2017.
Crewe's biggest league victory came against Rotherham United on 1 October 1932 in the Third Division North when they won 8–0. In the FA Cup, their biggest win was 9–1 over Northwich Victoria on 16 November 1889. The club's heaviest defeat was in the FA Cup in 1960 when they were beaten 13–2 by Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane on 30 January 1960, a game watched by 64,365: the largest crowd for a match involving Crewe. In the league, Crewe's worst performance saw them beaten 11–1 at Lincoln City on 29 September 1951 in the Third Division North.
Tommy Lowry made the most first team appearances in all competitions for Crewe: 482 between 1965 and 1977. Bert Swindells holds the record for most Crewe goals: 137, scored from 1927 to 1937, while Terry Harkin scored the most Crewe goals in a single season: 34 in 1964–65. Best match return was five goals, scored by Tony Naylor in Crewe's 7–1 league defeat of Colchester United at Gresty Road on 24 April 1993.
William Bell was the first Crewe player to win an international cap, playing for Wales against Ireland in Wrexham in February 1886. Clayton Ince, with 31 caps for Trinidad and Tobago, has won most caps while playing for Crewe. Efe Sodje is the only Crewe player to play in a World Cup Finals tournament, for Nigeria against Argentina, on 2 June 2002, and then against England on 12 June 2002, both in Japan.
Crewe's most expensive player was Rodney Jack, signed from Torquay United in August 1998 for £650,000. Crewe were reported to have received £3 million for Nick Powell when he moved to Manchester United on 2 July 2012, with options for the fee to grow to £6 million depending on appearances. Crewe also received £3 million for Seth Johnson's 1999 move to Derby County, and for Dean Ashton's move to Norwich City in 2005.
- As of 13 May 2021
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
In 2004 the BBC's Football Focus asked fans of all professional football clubs in England and Scotland to vote for their cult hero. For Crewe, Seth Johnson won with 59% of the vote; Danny Murphy came second with 33%, and Craig Hignett third with 8%.
Full international playersEdit
William Bell was the first Crewe player to win an international cap, playing for Wales against Ireland in Wrexham in February 1886. On 15 March 1890, three Crewe players - Alfred Davies (also Wales captain), Dick Jones and Billy Lewis - played in Wales's 3–1 defeat by England in Wrexham; Lewis scored Wales's goal, the first international goal scored by a Crewe player. John 'Jackie' Pearson became the first Crewe player to win an international cap for England, playing against Ireland in Belfast on 5 March 1892. He remains the only Crewe player capped for England while playing at the club.
|Player||Country||Caps||Goals||Year(s) of caps||Notes|
|Clayton Ince||Trinidad and Tobago||36||0||1999-2005|||
|Steve Jones||Northern Ireland||22||1||2003-2006|||
|Rodney Jack||Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||6||4||2000|||
|Neil Lennon||Northern Ireland||6||0||1994-1995|||
|Michael O'Connor||Northern Ireland||6||0||2008-2009|||
|Colin Murdock||Northern Ireland||3||0||2005|||
As of 13 May 2021. Only competitive matches are counted.
|August 1892||May 1894||50||12||10||28||24.00|
|August 1895||May 1896||31||5||3||23||16.13|
|January 1897||December 1897||0||0||0||0||—|
(Secretary-Manager to 1911
Honorary Secretary to 1925)
|January 1898||May 1925||169||56||44||69||33.14|
|Tom Bailey||August 1925||May 1938||578||223||113||242||38.58|
|George Lillycrop||August 1938||July 1944||45||20||7||18||44.44|
|Frank Hill||July 1944||October 1948||102||45||19||38||44.12|
|Arthur Turner||October 1948||December 1951||149||56||39||54||37.58|
|Harry Catterick||December 1951||June 1953||74||31||11||32||41.89|
|Ralph Ward||June 1953||May 1955||96||25||28||43||26.04|
|Maurice Lindley||August 1955||May 1958||143||23||28||92||16.08|
|Harry Ware||August 1958||May 1960||100||36||22||42||36.00|
|Jimmy McGuigan||June 1960||November 1964||222||87||85||50||39.19|
|Ernie Tagg||November 1964||October 1970||273||105||69||99||38.46|
|Tom McAnearney||October 1970||July 1971||34||14||7||13||41.18|
|Dennis Viollet||August 1971||November 1971||15||4||2||9||26.67|
|Jimmy Melia||May 1972||December 1973||70||16||23||31||22.86|
|Ernie Tagg||January 1974||December 1974||48||13||12||23||27.08|
|Harry Gregg||January 1975||May 1978||163||53||53||57||32.52|
|Warwick Rimmer||August 1978||May 1979||46||6||14||26||13.04|
|Tony Waddington||June 1979||July 1981||93||24||27||42||25.81|
|Arfon Griffiths||August 1981||October 1982||59||9||10||40||15.25|
|Peter Morris||November 1982||June 1983||33||8||7||18||24.24|
|Dario Gradi1||June 1983||July 2007||1,251||464||301||486||37.09|
|Dario Gradi2 / Steve Holland3||/||July 2007||November 2008||72||19||16||37||26.39|
|Dario Gradi4||November 2008||December 2008||8||3||1||4||37.50|
|Gudjon Thordarson||December 2008||October 2009||37||12||7||18||32.43|
|Dario Gradi4||October 2009||November 2011||110||38||23||49||34.55|
|Steve Davis||November 2011||January 2017||272||84||71||117||30.88|
|David Artell||January 2017||current||224||89||44||91||39.73|
1As sole manager. Between 22 September and 17 October 2003, Gradi underwent heart surgery. Assistant manager Neil Baker took charge of the team for this period (P6, W0, D1, L5).
2As technical director
3As first team coach
4As caretaker manager
- As of 3 April 2021.
|Kenny Lunt||England||Assistant manager|
|Will Ryder||England||Head of coaching|
|Alex Morris||England||First team coach/U23 manager|
|Lee Bell||England||U18 manager|
Notes and referencesEdit
- Abraham also supported the formation of the Cheshire Football Association in 1878, being appointed secretary, and was an umpire in the first Lancashire Senior Cup final, held at Darwen in 1880. He refereed the first Liverpool Senior Cup final, also in 1880, and travelled extensively to umpire Crewe Alexandra's matches. He also made a significant contribution to amateur athletics, helping organise annual events at the cricket club's ground in Earle Street, as well as becoming a long-standing official of the Northern Counties Athletic Association and the Amateur Athletic Association.
- Crisp notes 1950s newspaper correspondence suggesting the formation of a football club was also proposed by cricketer A.N. Hornby, who also played professional football.
- Crewe drew 2-2, and lost the replay 3-2, but successfully appealed against the result in respect of the size of the Swifts' goals (the crossbars were too low). Crewe won the replay played at a neutral ground, Derby County's Baseball Ground, 2-1.
- Upon its formation in 1992, the Premier League became the top tier of English football; the Football League First, Second and Third Divisions then became the second, third and fourth tiers, respectively. From 2004, the First Division became the Championship, the Second Division became League One and the Third Division became League Two.
- "Club Statement: Chairman and Vice Chairman". Crewe Alexandra F.C. Retrieved 3 April 2021.
- "Who's Who – Crewe Alexandra". www.crewealex.net. Retrieved 3 April 2021.
- Dyer, Liam; Day, Dave. The Industrial Middle Class and the Development of Sport in a Railway Town (PDF). Manchester Metropolitan University. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
- Sandhu, Nathan (14 October 2015). "Retail hotspot was once home of the Crewe Alexandra Cricket Club". Crewe Chonicle. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
- Morse, Peter (1 September 2016). "Crewe cricket club is planning a big 150th birthday bash". Crewe Chronicle. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
- Crisp, p.6.
- "1877 – A Football Club is formed in Crewe, as a separate organisation from the successful Crewe Cricket Club. They take the name 'Alexandra' after Princess Alexandra": from the club's official website Archived 5 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- Seddon, Peter (2004), Football Talk: The language and folklore of the world's greatest game, Chrysalis Books, London (ISBN 1-86105-683-4), p.174.
- "English Challenge Cup. Queen's Park (Glasgow) v. Crewe". Sheffield Daily Telegraph. 8 October 1883. Retrieved 5 February 2015 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "Wales vs Ireland international football match report". EU Football.Info. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
- Crisp, p.7.
- Crisp, pp.7, 18.
- Gibbons, Philip (2001). Association Football in Victorian England – A History of the Game from 1863 to 1900. Upfront Publishing. p. 188. ISBN 1-84426-035-6.
- "Ireland 0 England 2 (Match summary)". www.englandstats.com. 5 March 1892. Retrieved 7 March 2009.
- "John Hargreaves "Jackie" Pearson". EU Football.Info. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
- Crisp, pp. 7–8
- Paul Smith & Shirley Smith (2005) The Ultimate Directory of English & Scottish Football League Grounds Second Edition 1888–2005, Yore Publications, p62, ISBN 0-9547830-4-2
- Crisp, p.8.
- Crisp, p.8, p.58, p62.
- "Fred Keenor". EU Football.Info. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
- Crisp, p.12.
- Crisp, pp.62-63.
- "Potted History". Crewe Alexandra. Archived from the original on 5 November 2013. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
- Morris, p.99.
- Fearon, Matthew (18 August 2012). "Dream Teams: Crewe Alexandra". Independent. Retrieved 20 March 2021.
- Crisp, pp.25-26, 130-137.
- Crisp, pp.86-89.
- Crisp, pp.133-134.
- Crisp, p.90.
- Crisp, pp.9, 91.
- Crisp, pp.9, 12, 91.
- "Match detail: Chelsea v Crewe Alexandra". Stamford-Bridge.com: The history of Chelsea F.C. Retrieved 21 March 2021.
- Holmes, Logan. "Tottenham On This Day: Spurs Put Five Past Crewe In FA Cup". Hotspur HQ. Retrieved 21 March 2021.
- Riddle, Andy (2001). Plymouth Argyle: 101 Golden Greats. Westcliff-on-Sea: Desert Island Books. pp. 105–106. ISBN 1-874287-47-3.
- Crewe Alexandra F.C. at the English National Football Archive (subscription required)
- Crisp, pp.99-100.
- Crisp, pp.135-136.
- Northam, Randall. "League cup winner comes so late Hamilton puts Villa through". Aston Villa History. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
- Crisp, pp.110-111.
- Crisp, p.111.
- Hackett, Robin (23 May 2012). "Bruce Grobbelaar: Tears of a clown". ESPN. Retrieved 22 March 2021.
- Hornbrook, p.11.
- Hornbrook, p.14.
- McGarry, Graham (2 July 2009). "Dario Gradi – Crewe's longest serving manager". BBC Radio Stoke. Retrieved 30 March 2017.
- Thomas, Geoff (2008). Riding Through The Storm: My Fight Back to Fitness on the Tour de France. London: Hachette.
- Hornbrook, p.38.
- Crisp, p.9
- Crisp, p.119.
- Hornbrook, pp.47-48.
- Crisp, p.120.
- Hornbrook, pp.46.
- Morris, p.233.
- Crisp, p.121.
- Hornbrook, pp.51-52.
- "Transfers to or from Crewe Alexandra". LFC History. Retrieved 22 March 2021.
- Hornbrook, p.75.
- Crisp, pp.10, 124.
- Crisp, p.125.
- Hornbrook, p.86.
- "Crewe Alexandra". BBC Leeds. 11 January 2008. Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
- Hornbrook, pp.98.
- Hornbrook, pp.105.
- Crisp, pp.126, 127.
- Crisp, pp.10, 128.
- "Newcastle on the verge of signing Batty". The Independent. 23 February 1996. Archived from the original on 10 June 2015. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
- Burnton, Simon (28 February 2012). "The forgotten story of ... Seth Johnson in an England shirt". Guardian. Retrieved 22 March 2021.
- "Gradi's landmark". BBC Sport. 20 November 2001. Retrieved 22 March 2021.
- "Crewe Alexandra 2002/03". Statto. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
- McKechnie, David (28 April 2003). "Henry lands PFA award". Guardian. Retrieved 22 March 2021.
- "Baggies bag duo". BBC Sport. 11 July 2003. Retrieved 22 March 2021.
- "Gradi undergoes heart surgery". Guardian. PA. 23 September 2003. Retrieved 22 March 2021.
- "Dean Ashton". Flown from the Nest. Retrieved 22 March 2021.
- "Crewe Alexandra | News | Latest News | Latest News | Crewe Delighted With Award". www.crewealex.co.uk.p.preprod.performgroup.com. 6 March 2006. Archived from the original on 5 April 2018. Retrieved 4 July 2006.
- Rostance, Tom (21 April 2007). "Gradi gets new role after 24 years". Guardian. Retrieved 22 March 2021.
- "Coca-Cola Football League One: Table". BBC News. Archived from the original on 6 April 2008. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
- "Bristol City clinch Maynard deal". BBC Sport. 31 July 2008. Retrieved 22 March 2021.
- "Crewe Alexandra sack manager Steve Holland". Times. 18 November 2008. Retrieved 22 March 2021.
- "Thordarson confirmed as new Crewe manager". Guardian. 24 December 2008. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
- "Thordarson pays tribute to squad". BBC Sport. 6 March 2009. Retrieved 18 May 2009.
- Thordarson sacked as Crewe boss BBC Sport; 2 October 2009
- Dario Gradi steps down as Crewe Alexandra manager BBC Sport; 10 October 2011
- "Davis To Take Over As First Team Manager". Crewe Alexandra F.C. 10 November 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2011.
- "Davis Becomes Alex Assistant". Crewe Chronicle. 17 June 2009. Retrieved 16 June 2009.
- Alex secure play-offs spot, Sporting Life[permanent dead link] (retrieved: 6 May 2012)
- "Go and finish the job, says Crewe Alexandra boss Steve Davis". BBC News. 17 May 2012.
- Ashdown, John (28 May 2012). "League Two play-off final: Powell serves notice of rare talent to earn Crewe play-off glory: Cheltenham T 0 Crewe Alexandra". The Guardian. p. 5. Archived from the original on 4 February 2021. Retrieved 3 February 2021 – via Gale.
- West, Jon (28 May 2021). "Crewe get a parting gift from Powell". The Times. p. 9. Archived from the original on 4 February 2021. Retrieved 3 February 2021 – via Gale.
- Osborne, Chris. "Crewe 2 – Southend 0". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- "Crewe 2–0 Walsall". BBC Sport. 27 April 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
- Scott, Ged (24 April 2013). "Crewe Alexandra: Dario Gradi's academy dream set to come true". BBC Sport. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
- "John Bowler honoured with Contribution to League Football Award". The Football League. Archived from the original on 22 March 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
- Dario Gradi MBE, League Managers Association. Retrieved: 17 April 2015.
- "Crewe Alexandra: Chairman John Bowler 'humbled' by MBE award". BBC Sport. BBC. 31 December 2014. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
- "Crewe 0 – 1 Bradford". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 4 May 2015.
- Crewe 0–1 Eastleigh, BBC Sport, 7 November 2015. Retrieved: 12 November 2015.
- "Steve Davis: Crewe boss insists he is 'right man' for the job". BBC Sport. 10 November 2015. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
- "Port Vale 3–0 Crewe Alexandra". BBC Sport. BBC. 9 April 2016. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
- "Club Part Company With Steve Davis" (Press release). Crewe Alexandra F.C. 8 January 2017. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
- "Artell Replaces Michael Jolley". crewealex.net. 8 July 2014. Retrieved 7 September 2014.
- "Crewe Alexandra: David Artell named manager after sacking of Steve Davis". BBC Sport. BBC. 8 January 2017. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
- "Crewe Alexandra 2–1 Cheltenham Town". BBC Sport. BBC. 5 May 2018. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
- Morse, Peter (7 October 2019). "Dario Gradi retires from positions at Crewe Alex". Cheshire Live. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
- Morse, Peter (1 April 2020). "Investing in great escape made perfect sense for new Crewe Alex director Stuart Whitby". Cheshire Live. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
- Morse, Peter (4 February 2020). "Nantwich Town chairman Tony Davison resigns to become a director at Crewe Alex". Cheshire Live. Retrieved 4 February 2020.
- Tantram, Tim (3 February 2020). "#Project250 – Target Achieved!". The Railwaymen Supporters Society. Retrieved 4 February 2020.
- "League One & League Two clubs vote to end seasons early". BBC Sport. 9 June 2020. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
- Powell, David (27 July 2020). "Crewe Alex boss David Artell picks up LMA Manager of the Year accolade for League Two". Cheshire Live. Retrieved 27 July 2020.
- "PFA Awards". PFA. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
- "Young Crewe Alexandra squad consolidate League One status". Nantwich News. 20 April 2021. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
- Smith & Smith, p13
- Morris, pp.96-97.
- Hornbrook, p.71.
- Hornbrook, p.100.
- Hornbrook, p.117.
- Hornbrook, p.170.
- "Crewe Alexandra 1-3 Manchester City". Doing the 92. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
- "Alexandra Stadium: Crewe Alexandra". Football Stadiums. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
- "Crewe Alexandra: Gresty Road is rebranded as Mornflake Stadium". BBC Sport. 10 June 2021. Retrieved 13 June 2021.
- "Crewe Alexandra Announce Rhino Safety Partnership (14 July 2020)". Crewe Alexandra F.C. Retrieved 14 September 2020.
- "Whitby Morrison Extend Partnership (7 August 2020)". Crewe Alexandra F.C. CAFC. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
- "Crewe Alexandra". Historical Football Kits. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
- "Crewe Alexandra". The Beautiful History Of Club Crests, Club Colours & Nicknames. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
- "Mornflake Extend Shirt Sponsorship Deal". CreweAlex.net. 19 June 2020. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
- UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Crewe built up area (1119884750)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
- "Crewe Alexandra F.C." European Football Statistics. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
- Crisp, p.53.
- Crisp, p.85.
- Morris, p.200.
- Crisp, p.117.
- Smith, Peter (28 March 2021). "How Derby County would fare if English football clubs were ranked by their all-time attendances". Derby Telegraph. Retrieved 30 March 2021.
- "Crewe Alexandra football club: record v Port Vale". 11v11.com.
- "Crewe Alexandra football club: record v Burslem Port Vale". 11v11.com.
- "Football fans charged after Crewe and Port Vale match". BBC News. 16 January 2011.
- "13 arrests made following Port Vale and Crewe Alex game". Stoke Sentinel. Archived from the original on 4 January 2014. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
- "Trouble flared at Port Vale and Crewe Alex derby match". Stoke Sentinel. Archived from the original on 8 March 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 May 2015. Retrieved 26 April 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Wise, Lauren (24 September 2018). "Six arrested at Crewe Alex v Port Vale match". Cheshire Live. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
- Smith, Peter (9 September 2019). "Stoke v Port Vale named in top 30 English football rivalries, below Vale v Crewe". Stoke Sentinel. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
- "Stockport 4–3 Crewe". BBC Sport.
- "Stockport County relegated: Crewe 2 Stockport 0". Manchester Evening News. 30 April 2011.
- Morris, p.100.
- "Blue Moon: City fan anthem". Manchester City FC.. Retrieved: 16 March 2021.
- Morris, Charlie (12 March 2021). "Letter: A run of success eclipses the footballing blues". Financial Times. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
- Hornbrook, p.74.
- Shaw, Phil (13 January 1993). "Football: Crewe scuttle Marine's Cup aspirations". Independent. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
- "Super Dario 20 not out". Daily Post. 4 June 2003. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
- Ronay, Barney (21 March 2011). "Homespun philosophy of Crewe's Dario Gradi recognised by Football League". Guardian. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
- The Railwaymen Supporters Society Limited: Report of the Society Board for the Period 8th July 2019 to 30th June 2020. Access date: 26 March 2021.
- "New Crewe Alex board of directors to meet after fans make dream a reality". Cheshire Live. 5 February 2020. Retrieved 25 March 2021.
- Morse, Peter (15 April 2019). "Crewe Alex legend Gareth Whalley to be president of supporters' club initiative". Cheshire Live. Retrieved 25 March 2021.
- Hornbrook, p.36.
- Hornbrook, p.56.
- Hornbrook, p.94.
- Hornbrook, p.118.
- McClurg, Ian (9 February 2015). "The pioneering work of Crewe Alexandra's Academy". These Football Times. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
- Gibson, Owen (24 November 2016). "Crewe Alexandra: how a football talent factory has been thrown into turmoil". Guardian. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
- Morris, p.279.
- Taylor, Daniel (16 November 2016). "Andy Woodward: 'It was the softer, weaker boys he targeted'". Guardian. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
- Taylor, Daniel; James, Stuart (17 November 2016). "Associate of Barry Bennell also preyed on boys, two former footballers reveal". Guardian. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
- Taylor, Daniel (21 November 2016). "Six come forward after Andy Woodward's story of abuse at Crewe". Guardian. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
- Taylor, Daniel (22 November 2016). "Second footballer reveals abuse by serial paedophile Barry Bennell". Guardian. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
- Taylor, Daniel (22 November 2016). "Andy Woodward criticises Crewe over lack of apology in Barry Bennell case". Guardian. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
- "Football sex abuse: Crewe launch child abuse investigation". BBC News. BBC. 27 November 2016. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
- Parveen, Nazia (29 November 2016). "Former Northern Ireland player Mark Williams was 'victim of sexual abuse'". Guardian. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
- Austin, Jack (29 November 2016). "Football abuse scandal: Former Premier League player becomes fifth footballer to reveal sexual abuse". Independent. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
- "Ex-football coach Barry Bennell guilty of further sex abuse". BBC News. BBC. 15 February 2018. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
- Taylor, Daniel (20 February 2018). "Barry Bennell branded 'sheer evil' as he is sentenced to 30 years". Guardian. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
- "Club Statement: Barry Bennell". CreweAlex.net. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
- Taylor, Daniel (15 February 2018). "Manchester City 'ignored warnings' and kept Barry Bennell in youth set-up". Guardian. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
- "Duo sue the Alex over their ordeal at hands of abuser Bennell". Crewe Chronicle. 13 March 2019.
- "Barry Bennell sex abuse: Eight men sue Man City". BBC News. 5 May 2020. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
- Daniel, Taylor (19 March 2019). "Crewe claim they did not arrange for boys to stay with Barry Bennell". Guardian. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
- Taylor, Daniel (26 March 2019). "Crewe agree first settlement with Barry Bennell victim after U-turn". Guardian. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
- Woodward, Andy (4 June 2019). "Andy Woodward extract: 'Telling my story stopped a young guy ending his life'". Guardian. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
- Townsend, Mark (26 November 2016). "Crewe to launch independent review into handling of child abuse allegations". The Observer. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
- "Club Statement: Barry Bennell (2)". CreweAlex.net. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
- Ryan, Belinda (9 March 2018). "MP urges Crewe Alex to hold independent investigation into historic handling of child sex predator Barry Bennell". Crewe Chronicle. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
- Drucker, James (14 March 2018). "Crewe's refusal to conduct internal Barry Bennell inquiry is 'totally unacceptable', says Damian Collins". Telegraph. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
- Ryan, Belinda (13 March 2018). "Crewe Alex refusal to hold inquiry 'demonstrates a disregard for Bennell's victims' town council leader says". Crewe Chronicle. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
- Taylor, Daniel (10 March 2018). "Crewe excluded from regional awards for handling of Barry Bennell scandal". Observer. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
- Sheldon, Clive (2021). Independent Review into Child Sexual Abuse in Football 1970-2005. London: Football Association. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
- Conn, David (17 March 2021). "Football sexual abuse report: ignorance and naivety cleared way for scandal". Guardian. Retrieved 17 March 2021.
- "Football's child sex abuse scandal: Crewe 'sorry' for being unaware of Barry Bennell abuse". BBC Sport. 18 March 2021. Retrieved 18 March 2021.
- "Football's child sex abuse scandal: Ex-Crewe boss Dario Gradi apologises for not recognising abuse". BBC Sport. 20 March 2021. Retrieved 20 March 2021.
- "Football's child sex abuse scandal: Sheldon review finds 'institutional failings'". BBC Sport. 17 March 2021. Retrieved 18 March 2021.
- Rumsby, Ben (18 March 2021). "Crewe Alexandra chairman under pressure". Telegraph. Retrieved 18 March 2021.
- Ostlere, Lawrence (25 March 2021). "Crewe chairman John Bowler stands down in wake of Sheldon Review into sexual abuse scandal". Independent. Retrieved 25 March 2021.
- "History Of The Football League". The Football League. 22 September 2010. Archived from the original on 2 February 2013.
- "League gets revamp". BBC Sport. 10 June 2004. Archived from the original on 29 July 2020. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
- Crisp, pp.134-138.
- Crisp (for years 1960-1992), pp.92, 106, 107, 110 and 124.
- "Crewe 1-2 Man Utd (aet)". BBC Sport. 25 October 2006. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
- "Cheshire Cup Final: Crewe 3-2 Nantwich (5 April 2017)". Crewe Alexandra F.C. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
- Crisp, p.59.
- Crisp, p.20.
- Crisp, p.91.
- Crisp, p.83.
- Crisp, p.124.
- "Clayton Ince - International Appearances". The Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
- "Sodje, Efe". National Football Teams. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
- Hornbrook, p.150.
- "Manchester United sign Nick Powell from Crewe Alexandra". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 15 September 2012. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
- "Crewe Alexandra 2020/21". Crewe Alexandra F.C. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
- Crewe's Cult Heroes. Accessed 5 March 2014.
- "Wales vs England international football match report". EU Football.Info. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
- "Billy Lewis". EU Football.Info. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
- "Steve Jones". EU Football.Info. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
- "Haber, Marcus". National Football Teams. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
- "David Vaughan". EU Football.Info. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
- "Jack, Rodney". National Football Teams. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
- "Neil Lennon". EU Football.Info. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
- "Michael O'Connor". EU Football.Info. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
- "William Bell". EU Football.Info. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
- "Colin Murdock". EU Football.Info. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
- "Robbie Savage". EU Football.Info. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
- "Pogba, Mathias". National Football Teams. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
- "Trevor Owen". EU Football.Info. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
- "Edwin Williams". EU Football.Info. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
- "Bougherra, Madjid". National Football Teams. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
- "Alfred Davies". EU Football.Info. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
- "Dick Jones". EU Football.Info. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
- "Ben Lewis". EU Football.Info. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
- "Robert Roberts". EU Football.Info. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
- "Crewe Alexandra managers". Soccerbase. Retrieved 30 March 2021.