Crewe Alexandra Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Crewe, Cheshire, England. Nicknamed The Railwaymen because of the town's links with the rail industry, they play at Gresty Road. The team compete in League Two, the fourth tier of the English football league system.

The club was formed in 1877 and named after Princess Alexandra. It was a founding member of the Football League Second Division in 1892, but only lasted four years in the League. Since re-entering the competition in 1921, they have mostly remained in the lower divisions. Crewe's only major honour is the Football League Trophy which they won in 2013. They have also won several minor trophies, including the Cheshire Premier Cup and the Cheshire Senior Cup.

Coordinates: 53°5′14″N 2°26′8″W / 53.08722°N 2.43556°W / 53.08722; -2.43556

The club finished 10th in League Two in their 2010–11 season and also ended up with the League 2 golden boot winner: Clayton Donaldson scored 29 goals, but moved to Brentford in July 2011.

While on a pre-season tour in July 2013 seven players were arrested and bailed over an alleged rape,[18] though the police later said no further action would be taken.[19]

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1John Pearson is the only player to represent England at full international level (i.e.: not at schoolboy, under-17, under 21, etc.) while on the books of Crewe Alexandra.

In March 2014, Crewe chairman John Bowler (elected chairman in 1987) was honoured with the Contribution to League Football Award at The Football League Awards 2014.[22] Dario Gradi had earlier won the same award, in 2011. In December 2014, it was announced that Bowler had, like Gradi (in January 1998),[23] been awarded an MBE for services to football.[24]

Ryan Lowe scores the equaliser for Crewe as they earn a point against Luton at Kenilworth Road.

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%.[9]

"When he plays on snow, he doesn't leave any footprints." ManagerWed 11 Jan 2012

Crewe were named the "Most Admired Club" in the 2006 Football League Awards, sponsored by The League Paper and FourFourTwo Magazine.[8]

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Before the 2012–13 season started, Crewe sold Nick Powell to Manchester United, and on transfer deadline day (31 August 2012) captain Ashley Westwood was sold to Aston Villa. However, with new players coming into the first team, Crewe won the Football League Trophy, beating Southend United 2–0 in the final at Wembley in April 2013.[15] The team finished 13th in League One, ending the season by fielding a team whose starting 11 were all Crewe Academy graduates.[16][17]

Steve Davis was appointed manager, and led the team to a 16-match unbeaten run in early 2012 up to 7th position, earning the club a play-off place.[13] Crewe defeated Southend United in the semi-final with a 1–0 win at home in the first leg and a 2–2 draw at Roots Hall, extending the unbeaten run to a club-record 18 matches[14] and securing a play-off final against Cheltenham Town at Wembley on 27 May 2012 which they won 2–0 and earned promotion.

On 22 February 2014, for 33 minutes of a match at Port Vale, two brothers played on opposite sides against each other – Crewe's Harry Davis and Joe Davis of Port Vale – while their father, Steve Davis, was manager of one of the teams (Crewe Alexandra).[20][21]

During Gradi's tenure the club gained a reputation for its youth policy, and earned official status as an FA Youth Academy. By concentrating on developing its own players the club remained profitable (a rarity in lower division football at the time) by selling them on after they have gained experience with Crewe. The Academy is known to stress technical excellence, which accords with Gradi's aim to have his sides play attractive, passing football.

One of Crewe's most famous matches took place against Spurs in the FA Cup in 1960. A new record attendance of 20,000 saw lowly Crewe hold Spurs to a 2–2 draw on 30 January, with Bert Llewellyn and Merfyn Jones scoring for the Railwaymen. On 3 February, Tottenham convincingly won the replay 13–2, which remains a record defeat for the club. Llewellyn and Nev Coleman scored for Crewe.[5]

The following season started in a similar pattern, with the team winning just two of their first 15 league games, and crashing out of the FA Cup in the first round, defeated at Gresty Road by non-league Eastleigh,[27] forcing Davis to defend his position as the 'right man' for the job.[28] Crewe's relegation to League Two was confirmed following a 3–0 defeat at Port Vale on 9 April 2016, with five games remaining.[29]

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Crewe started the 2014–15 season poorly, accumulating just four points from the first 11 League games. Some sustained runs of better results pulled the club out of the relegation places, but, needing a home draw against Bradford City to secure safety, Crewe lost 0–1 and had to rely on favourable results elsewhere to ensure League One football for another year, finishing two points above the bottom four in 20th position.[26]

On 3 May 2014 Crewe ensured their place in League One with a 2–1 home victory over Preston North End ending the 2013–14 Season in 19th place four points above relegation. Although the season had not been successful for the first team, the Under-21s won the Professional Development League Two title with a 1–0 win over QPR on 30 April 2014; Max Clayton scored the goal.[25] The under-18s were runners-up in their Development League.

C/o Crewe Alexandra FITC Crewe Road Crewe Cheshire CW2 5AF View with Google Maps 

After one season in the Division Two the club were promoted back to Division One at the end of the 2002–03 season, having finished in second place; the first time the club had finished in the top two of any division, and the club prepared for life in Division 1.

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

Crewe

On 10 November 2011, the club announced that Dario Gradi had stepped down as manager and would return to his previous role as Director of Football focusing on youth development.[12]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

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 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.[4][30]

1955 saw Crewe embark on a sequence where they did not win away from home for 56 matches. The dismal run ended with a 1–0 win at Southport.