Skip to main content Skip to site footer

Club History

The English Football League

Promoted from Division 4 1962-63 (3rd)

Promoted from Division 41967/68 (4th)

Promoted from Division 4 1988/89 (3rd)

Promoted from Division 3 1993/94 (3rd place)

Promoted from Division 2 2002/03 (2nd place)

Promoted from Division 2 1996-97 (play offs)

Promoted from League Two 2011/12 (play-offs)

Promoted from League Two 2019/20 (promoted via points per game)

Football League's Most Admired Club 2006

Awards 010720 KW-114.jpg

The FA Cup

Semi Final 1888

The Football League Cup

(Best season) 3rd Round 1975, 1976, 1979, 1993, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2007, 2008

The Football League Trophy

Winners 2013

The Cheshire Senior Cup

Winners 1910, 1912, 1913, 1923, 2002, 2003, 2017

The Welsh Cup

Winners 1936, 1937

The Cheshire Premier Cup

Winners 2009, 2010

Professional Development League Two (Under 23)

Winners 2014

Professional Development League Two (Under 18)

Runners-up 2014

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.

1961 - Crewe defeat Chelsea 2-1 in the FA Cup at Stamford Bridge. That particular Chelsea side contained former Crewe player Frank Blunstone (pictured), 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.

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 Watford, 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.

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.

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 (pictured)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.

Rodney Jack

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.

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.

Brammer promotion

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.

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.

Over 14,000 Crewe fans saw Nick Powell (pictured) 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.

Nick Powell

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.

Steve Davis

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

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.

2014/15 - It was another season of fighting off relegation for the Railwaymen but a great team spirit and unity managed to turn a disappointing start around. Crewe Alexandra had just four points from the opening 11 games of the season and were written off by many before a Christmas revival. The signing of loan players such as the experienced Alan Tate, Stoke midfielder Jamie Ness and the goal poacher Nicky Ajose from Leeds helped Crewe enjoy a good run over the festive period and into the New Year.

A fairly consistent run gave us a fighting chance going into the decisive run-in. Superb away wins at Sheffield United and Coventry gave Crewe six valuable points, meaning we only needed to draw our final game of the season at home to Bradford City to survive in League One. Crewe didn't keep to their side of the bargain, slipping to a 1-0 defeat at Gresty Road but results elsewhere, most notably Gillingham late win at home to Notts County saw the Alex survive on 52 points. It was too close for comfort...

2015/16 - Crewe Alexandra's stay in League One after we suffered relegation with games to spare. The Alex completed a poor season with a 2-0 defeat at Fleetwood Town.

The Railwaymen were knocked out of the FA Cup by Eastleigh in the first round of the competition and by Preston North End in the Leage Cup.

Wigan Athletic knocked Crewe out of the Football League Trophy winning 3-2 at Gresty Road.

2016/17 - A topsy-turvey season saw Crewe as high as 3rd place but also flirting with relegation to the Conference. The up and down season saw Steve Davis lose his job in January following a 3-0 defeat at Mansfield.

The club's former captain Dave Artell (pictured) took over with Kenny Lunt acting as his assistant. Alex Morris was promoted to the role of first-team coach. Artell guided Crewe to 17th place in League Two, ending the campaign with 55 points.

Chris Dagnall ended the season as the club's leading scorer. He ended the season with a hat-trick on the final day of the season in a 4-1 win over Barnet. Dagnall ended with 17 goals and the winner of the club's double Player-of-the-Year awards.

The club also won the Cheshire Senior Cup thanks to a 3-2 win over local neighbours Nantwich Town.

2017/18 - Crewe Alexandra would finish in 15th place in League Two in David Artell's first full season in charge with a strong finish seeing us win six of our last nine matches. The Alex were able to take that form into the following season.

2018/19 - A thumping 6-0 win over Morecambe on the opening day of the season at the Alexandra Stadium got Crewe off to a flier but only weeks later we were on the receiving end of a 6-0 drubbing away at Colchester. That first month summed up the season with high and lows along the way. Again we would end the season in superb form, winning six of the last nine again to make sure we finished in the safety of mid-table. Artell's Alex finished 12th with 65 points.

2019/20 - On 13 March 2020, the EFL alongside the FA announced the suspension of all domestic football until 3 April due to the rapidly developing global pandemic. On 3 April 2020, this suspension was extended indefinitely. Crewe Alexandra had been on course for the club's firsr ever league title when football was suspended. The Alex had edged past Swindon Town but when the positions were finalised on the points-per-game ratio, we were eventually runners-up to The Robins.

Crewe were back in League One under David Artell thanks to a team effort  but reliant on the goals of veteran Chris Porter, who finished as leading scorer with 14 goals in all competitions. When Porter was missing through injury, the on-loan Chuma Anene stepped in and scored a further vital 9 goals in all compeitions.

2020-21 - Our return to League One was sadly played out mostly in front of no crowds due to the ensuing pandemic. Crewe were permitted to have a redcued attendance for only two home matches against Northampton (where Ryan Wintle scored a last minute winner) and Plymouth Argyle. Crewe won both games 2-1. A stable season saw the Alex flirt with a possible push for thetop six but we would end the season in 12th place. The club sold captain Perry Ng to Championship side Cardiff City and full-back Harry Pickering to Blackburn Rovers (with him returning on loan to complete the season).

Owen Dale won all the major player-of-the-season awards after scoring 12 goals from the wing, only two behind the club's top scorer, Mika Mandron with 14 goals. The year also saw John Bowler step down as chairman after over 40 years of sterling service with the Football Club. He oversaw the complete re-struturing of the club and stadium to become all-seater, the advancement of the club's renowned Academy and enjoyed unrivalled success on the pitch, reaching the second tier of English football in 1997 and remaining there for 8 years out of 10. Bowler was succeeded by Charles Grant as Chair and a new youthful boardroom was formed, including representation from the Supporters Association.

2021-22 - Former player of the year, Ryan Wintle, joined Cardiff City in the summer after his contract expired and he was quickly followd by Charlie Kirk who moved to Charlton Athletic after the club's valuation of the player was met. Gresty Road was renamed Mornflake Stadium after the club's long serving sponsors agreed the naming rights for the stadium.


2022-23 was Crewe Alexandra's 146th season in the existence of Crewe Alexandra Football Club and the club's first season back in League Two since the 2019-20 season following relegation in the previous season. Alex Morris who was in charged until November was replaced by Lee Bell on December 1 and the Reds finished in 13th position.

Former Crewe Alexandra Greats

Frank Blunstone - Sold To Chelsea

Stan Bowles - Sold To Carlisle (pictured)

Bruce Grobbelaar – Sold To Vancouver Whitecaps

David Platt – Sold To Aston Villa

Neil Lennon – Sold To Leicester City

Tony Naylor - Sold To Port Vale

Geoff Thomas - Sold To Crystal Palace

Robbie Savage  - Sold To Leicester City

Rob Edwards - Sold To Huddersfield Town

Ashley Ward – Sold to Bradford City

Ashley Westwood - Sold to Bradford City

Craig Hignett – Sold to Middlesborough

Wayne Collins – Sold to Sheffield Wednesday

Rob Jones – Sold to Liverpool (pictured)

Dele Adebola – Sold to Birmingham City

Gareth Whalley – Sold To Bradford City

Rob Edwards – Sold To Huddersfield Town

Danny Murphy – Sold To Liverpool

Shaun Smith - Moved To Hull City

Steve Macauley - Moved To Rochdale

Mark Rivers – Sold To Norwich City

Seth Johnson  - Sold To Derby County (pictured)

David Wright – Sold to Wigan Athletic

Kenny Lunt – To Sheffield Wednesday

Stephen Foster – To Burnley

Rob Hulse – Sold To West Brom

Dean Ashton – Moved to Norwich City

David Vaughan  - Moved To Real Sociedad

Billy Jones – Moved to Preston North End

Owain Fon Williams – moved Stockport County

Luke Varney – Sold To Charlton Athletic

Nicky Maynard – Sold to Bristol City

Michael O’Connor – Sold to Scunthorpe

James Bailey – Sold to Derby County

John Brayford – Sold To Derby County

Nick Powell- Sold To Manchester United

Ashley Westwood - Sold To Aston Villa (pictured)

Shaun Miller - Sold To Sheffield United

Luke Murphy - Sold To Leeds United 

Max Clayton  - Sold To Bolton Wanderers

Ryan Colclough – Sold To Wigan Athletic

George Cooper - Sold to Peterborough United

Perry NG - Sold To Cardiff City (pictured)

Harry Pickering - Sold To Blackburn Rovers

Charlie Kirk - Sold To Charlton Athletic

Owen Dale - Sold To Blackpool

Connor O'Riordan - Sold To Blackburn Rovers

1892-1894 W.C. McNeill (Secretary-Manager)

1895-1896 J.G. Hall (Secretary-Manager)

1897-1898 R. Roberts (First Team Secretary-Manager)

1898-1911 J.B. Bloomley* (Secretary-Manager)

*(Continued as Honourary Secretary until 1925)

1925-1938 Tom Bailey

1938-1944 George Lillycrop

1944-1948 Frank Hill

1948-1951 Arthur Turner

1951-1953 Harry Catterick

1953-1955 Ralph Ward

1956-1957 Maurice Lindley

1957-1958 Willie Cook

1958-1960 Harry Ware

1960-1964 Jimmy McGuigan

1964-1971 Ernie Tagg (pictured)

1971-1972 Dennis Viollet

1972-1974 Jimmy Melia

1974-1975 Ernie Tagg

1975-1978 Harry Gregg

1978-1979 Warwick Rimmer

1979-1981 Tony Waddington

1981-1982 Arfon Griffiths

1982-1983 Peter Morris

1983-2007 Dario Gradi

2007-2008 Steve Holland

2008-2009 Gudjon Thordarson

2009-2011 Dario Gradi

2011-2017 Steve Davis

2017-2022 David Artell

2022-2022 Alex Morris

2022-Present Lee Bell

Latest Club News

Club News Just now

New Signing | Max Stryjek joins on an emergency loan from Wycombe

Read full article

Club News 8 Hours ago

Insure Life Alex All Together 2024

Read full article

Club News 9 Hours ago

Regaining momentum is key - Bell

Read full article

Club News 23 Hours ago

Sky Sports to become the home of the EFL from 2024/25

Read full article

View more

iFollow Next Match Tickets Account