RTG’s totally and utterly (we hope) indispensable guide to this season’s away grounds.
THE OPPO – Crewe Alexandra aka The Railwaymen / The Alex
DATE – Saturday 22 November
KO TIME – 3pm
Gresty Road is on the southern outskirts of Crewe, north-west of Stoke – close to the M6 and also handy for Crewe railway station.
Away supporters are accommodated in the Bluebell BMW Stand – also the base for the stadium safety officer and the control room for the CCTV system. Unfortunately this stand has a low overhang from the roof and numerous support pillars, so you might find yourself with a somewhat restricted view. The Bluebell BMW stand can seat 1,680 supporters (and CAFC are considering expanding this to 2,000); depending on our allocation if more seats are needed some away supporters may be put in the Charles Audi Stand.
Tickets for this match are now completely sold out.
GOING BY CAR?
· Travelling from the north east, get yourself onto the A1/A1M southbound; just after you pass A1(M) junction 45 (for the A64 Leeds/York road) you’ll see signs for the M1 – so take the M1 south. You join the M1 at jcn 48 and you need to stay on it until you reach jcn 42.
· Leave the M1 at jcn 42 and head for the roundabout signposted ‘Manchester, Pontefract, Bradford (M62), Hull’.
· At the roundabout take the third exit, signposted ‘Bradford, Airport, (M62) Manchester, Leeds (W)”
· After 37 miles leave the M62 and join the M60
· Leave the M60 at Jcn 12 and rejoin the M62 westbound, signposted ‘Liverpool, Birmingham (M6), Warrington (M62)’
· After 8 miles leave the M62 at the Croft Interchange and head onto the M6 signposted for Birmingham and Chester.
· Leave the M6 at jcn 17.
· At T-junction turn right for Crewe and follow A534 (signposted Crewe, Nantwich). After about six miles, at the third roundabout in the space of about a mile, you pass the Crewe Arms on your right and Crewe Station on your left. Gresty Road is the first left after the Station. Beware: on match days, you may not be able to take this left turn, and may be redirected to the next left (100 yards, South St, at traffic lights).
There’s street parking close to the ground (watch out for ‘residents only’ schemes), also a manned car park in St Clair Street or a council-run, short-stay car park off Mill Street. Many fans park on the service roads of the Weston industrial estate (off the A5020, just south of the Crewe Arms roundabout, opposite the Brocklebank pub).
Crewe also have their own car park next to the ground, costing £1.50 for all day. (800 spaces)
GOING BY TRAIN?
Crewe railway station is only a few minutes’ walk from the ground. Crewe is on the west coast mainline from London Euston with direct connections to Birmingham, Manchester, Stoke and Derby. For route and ticket information call National Rail Enquiries on 08457 484950 or check the National Rail website.
Alternatively ALS are running their usual coach service – click here for details.
Travelodge Crewe, (M6 jcn 16) – tel 0870 0850950
Jarvis Crewe Arms Hotel, Nantwich Rd, Crewe – tel 0870 8501743
Waverley Hotel, Pedley Street, Crewe – tel 01270 256223
Royal Hotel, Nantwich Rd, Crewe – tel 01270 257398 (opposite Gresty Rd)
Sleepers Hotel, Thomas St, Crewe – tel 01270 585555
SCRAN AND BOOZE
Message board regular Morley Mackam tells us he’s found out that away supporters will not be served booze inside the ground – so don’t leave it to chance, arrive late and expect to get a pint inside the stadium cos yer won’t.
Nantwich Road (same road as the train station) has plenty of pubs and most will serve away supporters – including The Brunswick (which also has an upstairs bar, giving extra space, popular with away supporters), The Barrel (American-style bar) and The Bank. There’s also The Royal Hotel opposite Gresty Road and Manni’s Wine Bar on the corner of Mill Street.
Another Message board regular KARB says “The town is about a 15-20 minute walk from the station and the ground, but everything you need, pubs, shops, chippy, pizza place etc can be found on the Nantwich Road”.
LEND US A FIVER I’M OUT OF CASH
Shouldn’t be a problem: there’s a cash machine in the aforementioned Royal Hotel on Nantwich Road, another at the railway station, a Nat West machine at 55 Nantwich Road and an Abbey cash machine at ‘Bargain Busters’ on Edleston Road.
IN THE NEWS
Crewe gaffer Dario Gradi may look to get a loan midfielder in before Crewe face us on the 22nd because of several injuries to his squad and the added complication of Kenny Lunt being suspended for that match.
Loan striker Allan Smart will be with The Railwaymen until at least the end of the current season after signing an extension to his existing deal this week.
Meanwhile Crewe striker Adam Yates has signed for Halifax until the end of the season.
Finished 2nd out of 24 in Div 2 with 86 points – promotoed to Div 1 with Wigan and Cardiff.
Currently 13th of 24:
P18 W7 D3 L8 F18 A23 Pts 24 GD -5
P9 W6 D1 L2 F13 A8 Pts 19 GD 5
HEAD TO HEAD
We’ve only played the Alex 4 times in the League in recent years, beating them every time!
LAST 4 MEETINGS
28/12/98 Sunderland 2 Crewe 0 (Dichio 15, Bridges 78))
03/11/98 Crewe 1, Sunderland 4 (Dichio 11, Gray 28, Quinn 45, Bridges 61)
18/04/98 Sunderland 2 Crewe 1 (Ball 4, Clark 22)
20/12/97 Crewe 0, Sunderland 3 (Phillips 2, Summerbee 37, Quinn 82)
– Best league win: 8-0 vs Rotherham in 1932.
– Worst league defeat: 2-13 vs Spurs in 1960.
– Record transfer fee received: £3m from Derby County for Seth Johnson (May 99)
– Record transfer fee paid: £650,000 to Torquay United for Rodney Jack (July 98)
Famous Crewe supporters: Michael Crawford (‘Frank Spencer’, ‘Phantom of the Opera’), Rob Cieka (drummer in the Boo Radleys), Gwyneth Dunwoody MP.
Dario Gradi is the League’s longest serving manager, having overseen The Alex since summer ’83.
Nobody’s found the definitive answer of why the club is called Crewe Alexandra. Some say the club’s founders were inspired by Queen Victoria’s daughter in law, Princess Alexandra – but others say the name is from the Alexandra Hotel where club meetings were once held.
Trainspotter trivia courtesy of Cockney Mackem: “In the early 1830s Crewe was only a small hamlet with only a wayside station beside a turnpike road. However, in 1837 the village became the junction of three lines, the Manchester & Birmingham, the Great Junction and the Chester & Crewe.
“In 1840 the Great Junction company purchased the Chester & Crewe Railway and large areas of land in Crewe. The company then moved its locomotive and carriage works from Edge Hill, Liverpool to the town. For the next hundred and fifty years, an average of one locomotive a week was produced in Crewe. By 1843 the company had built 200 houses for its workers.
“Other railway companies built lines to Crewe: the North Staffordshire (1848),
Great Western (1863) and the Midland (1867). The original station was constructed in 1849 but was rebuilt eighteen years later with widened platforms
and bays to accommodate the extra railway lines.”
Credits: Crewe Alexandra FC, CreweAlex.co.uk, Link, Rough Guide to English Football, Soccerbase, streetmap.co.uk, RAC, BBC, National Rail.