Crewe Alexandra F.C. - Wikipedia

A visit to the Railwaymen

There were 5 league meetings between FGR and Crewe between Nov 2017 and Nov 2019.  Honours were shared – 2 wins apiece and 1 draw.

However, this season in September, Crewe came to Nailsworth and won 4-1.  Reece Brown gave Rovers a 1-0 half time lead before 4 second-half Crewe goals from Courtney Baker-Richardson (2), Elliott Nevitt & Christopher Long.

Crewe have spent most of their time in the 3rd and 4th tiers of English football in the last 100 years.  Although there have been a few occasions when they have flirted with danger, they have never yet dropped out of the EFL.  Their recent golden years were under Dario Gradi.  Gradi was in charge of Crewe for all but one season between 1983 and 2011, becoming the longest serving manager in English League football.  During his time Crewe enjoyed 9 seasons in the 2nd tier between 1997 and 2006.  However, Gradi’s legacy was finally destroyed in August 2023 (see below) after a report into one of football’s darker periods.

Travel to Crewe

The journey to Crewe in Cheshire is about 120 miles.  This is a road journey of about 2 hours 45 minutes.

By Supporters Club Coach.  For full details of Away Travel including pick up times: – look at FGR Away Travel – Forest Green Rovers Supporters Club (  For further information, including pickup point locations see Away travel arrangements 22/23 – Forest Green Rovers Supporters Club (

Book your coach ticket with your match ticket from FGR (£5 adult discount for FGR Supporters Club members) but note that you need to call FGR Reception to get the coach discount (phone 0333 123 1889 Monday to Friday, between 9am and 3pm).  Please try to book early.

By Car – Car parking at and around the stadium is good.  There is a large car park at the ground (£3.50) or park at Weson Road Industrial Estate (postcode CW1 6XZ) where parking is free (around a 15 minute walk to the ground).  There is also plentiful street parking within reasonable walking distance.  Post Code for Sat Navs: CW2 6EB 

By Rail – Rail travel is very possible.  Travel from Cheltenham takes less than 2 hours each way and there are a number of services.  Travel from Stroud adds about 30 minutes to the journey and gives you fewer services to choose from.  The adult return fare is about £80 from Cheltenham (£88 from Stroud).  It is only a 5 minute walk from Crewe station to Gresty Road.

Admission prices range from £27 for adults down to £7.50 for u-11’s.  There are concessions available for over 65’s, students, u-20’s and disabled fans.

The Ground

Gresty Road

Gresty Road – away fans are in the seats to the right of the picture, alongside the pitch.

How are they doing and who to watch?

Crewe have been having a good season.  They are 6th in the table and looking pretty solid for a play-off place, in spite of a dip in their results recently.  They have one of the league’s best home records and they score pretty freely.  If there’s a weakness, it is that they don’t seem afraid to concede goals – they simply rely on outscoring their opposition.  There has been an average of over 3 goals a game in Crewe’s matches this season.

However, there have been one or two signs of frailty recently.  Their latest results (most recent first) are; Gillingham 0-0 Crewe, Crewe 1-1 Wimbledon, MK Dons 3-1 Crewe, Crewe 1-0 Sutton, Doncaster 2-0 Crewe, Crewe 2-3 Morecambe.

Making an impact at the club has been defender Mickey Demitriou (number 5) who joined as a free agent last summer after failing to agree terms with Newport where he was club captain and where he had been for 7 years.  The 33 year-old also has 8 goals during this campaign – not bad for a defender!

However, Crewe have had no fewer than 18 different goal-scorers this season.  Elliot Nevitt (number 20) leads the scorers with 14, followed by Chris Long (number 7) & Courtney Baker-Richardson (number 9) each with 9 goals.

Nevitt: 'I know what I'm capable of' - News - Crewe Alexandra

Elliott Nevitt leads Crewe’s scorers this season.

Former Newport captain, Mickey Demitriou, has made an impact since coming to Crewe in the summer.

Injury blow for Baker-Richardson, but better for McDonald and Long - News - Crewe Alexandra

Courtney Baker-Richardson scored twice at The New Lawn in September.

The Manager

Crewe’s manager is Lee Bell.  A local Cheshire lad, Bell joined Crewe’s Academy system in 1997.  In his playing career, which was mostly with Crewe, he never tended to move that far from home, with spells at Burton, Macclesfield, Mansfield, & Shrewsbury.

In 2015 Bell became under-18’s coach at Crewe, before becoming assistant first team manager, interim first team manager, then, in December 2022, first team manager.

Manager Lee Bell has been associated with Crewe for over 20 years.

The Club

Crewe Alexandra Football Club was formed in 1877 as an offshoot of Crewe Alexandra Cricket Club (established in September 1866 by workers at Crewe locomotive works).  The ‘Alexandra’ was named after Princess Alexandra, who became Edward VII’s wife.  In spite of the railway connection, the chief engineer of the town’s London and North Western Railway works, who supported the exclusion of professional sportsmen, led LNWR to say in 1891 that the company would ‘refuse to find employment in the Crewe Works for any professional football player’.  So, the club’s existence owes less to the railways than might be imagined!

Send In Your CV – Crewe Accepting Applications For Manager 18 Days Into Search - The Real EFL

Gresty the Lion, Crewe’s mascot.

The Town

Like Swindon, Crewe is a railway town.  It grew from a village of about 70 people in the late 1830’s when the Grand Junction Railway Co chose Crewe as a large junction and a major railway engineering facility for manufacturing and overhauling locomotives.  It sits 28 miles south of Manchester.  It is still a major interchange on the West Coast main line and has 12 platforms in use at its station.  However, railways have declined in importance in the town and the biggest employer in the town is now the Bentley car factory to the west of the town (a factory that used to make Rolls Royces).

Six finalists for GBR's new home revealed | The Planner

Crewe station.  The arrival of HS2 could have made a big difference to the town.

A dark past

It was announced in August that legendary Crewe manager, Dario Gradi, is to be stripped of his MBE for services to football.

The former Crewe manager, now 82, was, in effect, banned for life from coaching by the Football Association after the revelations of the 2021 Sheldon Review into child sexual abuse in football.  Gradi was found to have failed to protect children from the abuser Barry Bennell, though the Review found there was no evidence of his having acted inappropriately with children himself.  However, in an assessment conducted by the FA, a further judgment was made that Gradi “could potentially cause or pose a risk of harm to children”.

Gradi was criticised, among other things, for failing to act in relation to allegations about Barry Bennell, described as the “devil incarnate” by a judge who imprisoned him in 2018 for 30 years for abuse against boys aged eight to 14.  In the report, Sheldon stated that Gradi “did not consider a person putting their hands down another’s trousers to be an assault”, something he changed his mind to accept when Sheldon insisted that it was assault.

Dario Gradi

Ex Crewe manager Dario Gradi – now disgraced.