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Potted History

PUBLISHED

09:48 14th May 2012

Potted History

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.

1877 - Crewe Football Club play their first ever match against North Staff's and draw the match 1-1.

1884 - Crewe Alexandra play their first ever match in the FA Cup, against Queens Park of Glasgow. They lose the game 10-0.

1892 - Crewe became one of the founder members of the Second Division. They play their first League match against Burton Swifts on 3 September 1892, but unfortunately lose the match 7-1.

1893 - All the Crewe players sign as professional players.

1921 - Following the formation of Divisions Three North and South, Crewe are elected into the Northern section of the League. Their first match in the Division 3 North results in a 4-1 defeat by Tranmere Rovers.

1926 - A new record of 15,102 pack into Gresty Road to watch Crewe entertain local rivals Stoke City. The Potters win the game 2-0. 1932 - Crewe defeat Rotherham United 8-0 on 1 October.

1936 - Herbert Swindells scores his 100th League goal for Crewe Alexandra. He would go on to score a record 126 goals for the club - a record that still stands today. Crewe win the Welsh Cup by beating Chester 2-0 at the Racecourse Ground, Wrexham.

1937 - Crewe retain the Welsh Cup defeating Rhyl 3-1 in a replay. The first match ended in a 1-1 draw. 1939 - Crewe's 0-0 draw with Hartlepools proves to be the last before the outbreak of the Second World War.

1946 - Following the end of hostilities, Crewe travel to Gateshead but go down 2-1. 1953 - Port Vale visit Gresty Road on 28 September and create a new attendance record of 17,883. The match ends in a goalless draw.

1955 - Crewe embark on a sequence where they do not win away for 56 matches. Thankfully, the dismal run ends with a 1-0 win at Southport. 1960 - One of Crewe's most famous matches takes places against Spurs in the FA Cup. A new record attendance of 20,000 see lowly Crewe hold Spurs to a 2-2 draw. Bert Lllewellyn and Mertyn Jones score for the Alex. In the replay, Tottenham run out convincing 13-2 winners - still a record defeat for the club. Llewellyn and Nev Coleman scoring at White Hart Lane.

Frank Blunstone4x3

1961 - Crewe defeat Chelsea 2-1 in the FA Cup at Stamford Bridge. That particular Chelsea side contained former Crewe player Frank Blunstone, Jimmy Greaves, Peter Bonnetti and Terry Venables. The Crewe goals were scored by Billy Stark and Barrie Wheatley. Spurs win by a more modest 5-1 in the Fourth Round.


1963 - Crewe gain promotion for the first time in their history with a 1-0 win over Exeter City. Frank Lord becomes the local hero, scoring the only goal in front a crowd of 9,807. Lord also holds the record for most hat-tricks for the club - he amassed eight.

1964 - Terry Harkin scores a record 34 league goals for a season.

1971 - Dennis Viollet becomes manager and barely lasts the year.

1975 - Harry Gregg becomes manager and lasts 3 seasons.

1977 - Tommy Lowry plays his final and record breaking last game for the club. He played a record breaking 475 times for Crewe.

1979 - Bruce Grobbelaar joins Crewe and plays his first match at Wigan Athletic. During the season he would score from the penalty spot against York City and keep 8 clean-sheets in his 24 matches played. In the same year the club go a record 15 matches without winning at Gresty Road.


1983 - Dario Gradi becomes Crewe's 24th manager, taking over from Peter Morris in June of that year. With the help of later kitman John Fleet and chief scout Des Bennett, Dario begins to recruit young players from the North West area. Geoff Thomas arrives from Rochdale reserves.

Dario Gradi4x34


1985 - Dario signs David Platt on a free transfer from Manchester United on 25 January, 1985. He would go on to play 152 times for the Alex, scoring on 60 occasions.

1988 - Steve Walters becomes the youngest ever player to pull on a Crewe shirt. Aged just 16 years and 119 days he plays against Peterborough Utd on 6 May. 1989 - Whilst on loan from Sheffield United, goalkeeper Mel Rees concedes a goal against his opposite number Jim Stannard. The Fulham keeper launches a huge clearance which eludes Rees in the Alex goal. Fulham win the match 3-2 played at Gresty Road.

1991 - Aged 39 years and 281 days, Kenny Swain becomes the oldest player to ever play for Crewe when he faces Maidstone United in November.

1993 - Tony Naylor scores a record 5 goals in a 7-1 win over Colchester United. Crewe also reach the Play-Off Final at Wembley, only to lose 5-3 on penalties to York City. Crewe Alexandra proudly win the Bobby Moore Fair Play Award for their discipline over the season. They go on to retain the trophy for the next three years.

David McKearney4x3
1994 - Crewe goalkeeper Mark Smith becomes the fastest ever player to be sent off in League history, when he is dismissed after just 19 seconds for a professional foul against Darlington. Neil Lennon becomes the first Crewe Alexandra player to gain an International cap for 60 years when he is selected to play for Northern Ireland against Mexico.

1995 - Crewe defeat Hartlepool 8-0 in the 1st Round of the Auto Windscreens Shield. Amazingly, there are eight separate goalscorers including Danny Murphy, Robbie Savage, Steve Macauley and a young Mark Rivers.

1996 - Neil Lennon, the now Irish regular joins Leicester City for a then record £750,000.

Wembley974x3


1997 - Crewe are promoted to the First Division for the first time in their history. They defeat Brentford 1-0 in the Play-Off Final at Wembley with Shaun Smith grabbing the decisive goal. Following the victory, Danny Murphy joins Liverpool for a record £1.5 million. On 14 February Crewe Alexandra form an alliance with Liverpool which will benefit both clubs in the future.


1998 - Crewe Alexandra finish a commendable 11th in the First Division (the club's highest placing in our 122-year history) but lose Dele Adebola (Birmingham), Gareth Whalley and Ashley Westwood (Bradford City) in the process. Dario Gradi is awarded an MBE in the New Years Honours List. Crewe sign Rodney Jack for a record £650,000 from Torquay United. Crewe become one of a initial 24 clubs to be recognised as an Academy by the Football Association.

1999 - Against the odds, Crewe manage to retain their First Division status. The club finish in 18th place, but their late revival silence's the critics who wrote them off after a dismal run of 18 matches without victory. In the summer, Crewe sell Seth Johnson to Derby County, for a club record £3 million.

August 1999 - Crewe Alexandra open their new Railtrack Stand, which allows the capacity to increase to 10,150.

2000 - Crewe begin the new Millennium with a 1-1 draw against Manchester City. A sell-out crowd pack into the Alexandra Stadium to witness the club's first game of the new century. Despite being in the bottom half for much of the season, Crewe yet again escape the drop with a fantastic 2-0 win at promotion-chasing Barnsley. Neil Sorvel and Rob Hulse are on target to send Walsall down on the final day. They finish 19th on 51 points.

2000/2001 - Bottom at Christmas, Crewe enjoy a fantastic run to starve off relegation. With the emergence of Rob Hulse and Dean Ashton, Crewe win nine of their remaining matches in the comfort zone of 14th position. A 3-1 defeat by Preston finally sees the Alex beaten at home after an unbeaten run of nine in the League. Crewe born Rob Hulse finishes as leading goalscorer with 11 goals.

Dario1000
2001/2002 Crewe Alexandra's five year reign in the First Division comes to a sad end by goal difference. Unable to stop a rapid slide after the Christmas period, the Alex finish third from bottom and are relegated on the final day after failing to overcome Rotherham United. A promising FA Cup run is ended by Everton in the 5th round. The season also sees Dario Gradi complete 1000 games in charge of the club.


2002/2003 A record breaking season sees the Alex return to the First Division at the very first attempt. Dario Gradi guides the Railwaymen to automatic promotion in second place behind champions Wigan Athletic as records tumble. Clayton Ince and Ademole Bankole break the clean sheet record with 24 shut outs, the away wins record tumbles and a new record points total is achieved.

2004/2005 After suriving their first year back in the English second tier, the Alex's second season back goes right to the wire. In a season which saw the Alex in seventh position at the turn of the year, the sale and striker Dean Ashton sold to Norwich City for £3 million, the Railwaymen survive by one goal as strikes by Steve Jones and Michael Higdon overturn a 1-0 half-time deficit on the final day of the season at home to Coventry City, to ensure survival and end a winless streak which streched over 20 games.

2005/06 Crewe Alexandra's continued success in the Championship finally comes to an end when we are relegated at the end of the season. Despite a gallant effort in the second half of the season, the Railwaymen eventually finish in 22nd place and are relegated with Millwall and Brighton. The season did see some highs though with the club securing Algerian International Madjid Bougherra and the former Welsh International Gareth Taylor on loan.  

2006/07 Crewe Alexandra had an eventful season this year getting to the Northern Area Final of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy against Doncaster who after a thrilling 3-3 draw in the first leg Doncaster eventually saw victory over us with a 3-2 win. It was also the year that we saw the success of the strike partnership between Luke Varney and Nicky Maynard, this being the season that propelled Maynard into a regular first team member. In the Summer of 2007 Varney made a £2million move to Charlton Athletic. The club finished the campaign 13th in League One. In July 2007 Dario Gradi announced that he was changing his role within the club after 24 years as Manager to Technical Director and Academy Director Steve Holland would take the reins as First Team Coach, Neil Baker remaining in the Assistant Manager's role.

2007/08 This campaign didn't start off with the best of games against Brighton! Although we recorded a 2-1 home win and the first League win under new First Team Coach Steve Holland, just 20 minutes into the game Nicky Maynard broke his leg. The injury kept him sidelined until early December, however he still managed to score 15 by the end of the season. As the season progressed Crewe found themselves slipping down the table and by the turn of the New Year Crewe were sitting 17th in League One and a battle against relegation had ensued. Despite some crucial results towards the end of the season, the Railwaymen escaped relegation to League Two by two points as Bournemouth drew with Carlisle on the final day of the season.

2008/09 After just about avoiding relegation the previous year, Crewe spent close to £1 million in the transfer market to bring in new recruits John Brayford, Calvin Zola, Joel Grant, Steve Collis, Clayton Donaldson, Anthony Elding. It didn't have the desired effect and Crewe endured another disappointing season. After making a promising start to the campaign with great results over Barnsley and Bristol City in the Carling Cup, a trip to Anfield to face Liverpool in September prompted a slump in League form. After going ten games without a win, Steve Holland was relieved of his first-team duties in November and was replaced in the short-term by Gradi.

Calvin Zola 4x3
The former Icelandic and Stoke City manager Gudjon Thordarson accepted the job on Christmas Eve and duly arrived at Gresty Road at the turn of the year. His arrival coincided with a pick-up in form and after recording four wins in February, he was named as the Coca-Cola Manager-of-the-Month. A vast improvement in form had Crewe somehow emerge from the relegation drop zone but a key home defeat to fellow strugglers Cheltenham Town had the Railwaymen bang in trouble once again with fixtures running out. A run of 10 games without a win at the end of the season saw Crewe slip back into League Two for the first time in 15 years. 

2009/10 Crewe began life in the bottom tier with a fairly decent start thanks to three straight wins over Grimsby, Darlington and Hereford United but following a poor 5-3 defeat (the scoreline flattered us) at Accrington Stanley, the Alex were closer to the bottom than the top of the table.

Following a 3-2 home defeat to Bury in September 29th, Thordarson was relieved of his duties with immediate effect and was replaced by Dario Gradi. He started his third spell in charge with a home defeat to Rotherham but soon got the club playing some decent football again. He inspired the Railwaymen to a famous 3-2 win at Bradford City in October and Crewe always threatened to move into the top places only for our goals conceded column to prove costly.

6 straight wins going into Christmas promised much, but a surprising 4-1 defeat to rivals Macclesfield in late December sent everyone crashing back down to earth. Crewe would eventually finish in 18th spot - their worst ever placing under the legendary manager.

The summer saw James Bailey and John Brayford become the latest Alex players to move on for a substanial amount of money. They were taken to Derby County for nearly £1 million.

2010/11

The Railwaymen miss out on a play-off place by just three points after a fairly consistent season in npower League Two. The club finish in 10th place mainly because of a run of 12 away defeats on the trot from January to April. The club's impressive home kept us in the running for a top seven place with just four teams winning at Gresty Road throughout the campaign.

Dario Gradi won the Manager of the Month award in January as Crewe moved into the third automatic spot but that honour prompted a dismal run on the road that was eventually ended on the final day of the season with a emphatic 5-1 at Bradford City. Clayton Donaldson scored his 29th goal of the season at his hometown club that day to finish the season as the leading scorer in the division - one ahead of our former striker Ryan Lowe, who led Bury to promotion.

Sadly at the conclusion of the season, the club lost its long serving kit man John Fleet. The 65-year-old had served the club for 31 years but sadly passed away on 10th May 2011.

2011/12 - Dario Gradi stepped down from the managerial role in November 2011 and recommended his assistant Steve Davis for the position. Crewe went on to secure a play-off place on the back of a club record run. After overcoming Southend United 3-2 over two-legs in the play-off semi-final, the Railwaymen marched to Wembley for only the third time in the club's history.

Nick Powell4x33
Over 14,000 Crewe fans saw Nick Powell score one of the best solo goals ever seen at the new Wembley to put us ahead against Cheltenham. Byron Moore settled things in the 82nd minute and captain Dave Artell led the team up the Wembley steps to lift the npower League Two Trophy.


That summer Powell joins Manchester United for an undisclosed fee.


2012/13


Crewe Alexandra adjusted well to life in League One finishing safely in mid-table with a points tally of 64 points. A fairly consistent season saw the Railwaymen defeat the likes of Sheffield United, Doncaster, Coventry, Swindon and Preston North End.


Another superb season was completed with a 2-0 win over Southend United in the final of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. Luke Murphy opened the scoring after six minutes from a cleverly worked corner, before Max Clayton gave us some breathing space with a close range finish just minutes into the second half.


It was the first time that Crewe had lifted the Football League Trophy and completed a remarkable 12 months under Steve Davis.


2013/14


After collecting just 21 points from the first 23 games, Crewe narrowly escape relegation on the final day of the season thanks to a 2-1 win over Preston North End. Adam Dugdale and Mathias Pogba score the goals to see Crewe eventually finish 19th on 51 points. The on-loan Arsenal starlet Chuks Aneke finishes top scorer with 17 goals, whilst captain Matt Tootle is named both fans player-of-the-season and players-player after a consistent campaign.


Meanwhile the club's Under-21 side win the Professional Development League Two trophy with a 1-0 win over QPR at Loftus Road, with Max Clayton scoring the all-important winner. The Under-18s will narrowly lose their own final 6-5 on pens to Huddersfield Town after a thrilling 3-3 draw.


murphy and Max





 

 


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