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.
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 before 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 imprisoned in 1995 for child sexual abuse, and who was sentenced again in 2018. Gradi was suspended by the Football Association in December 2016, and club chairman John Bowler resigned in March 2021.
This page also has a version in other languages: Кру Александра (русский)