In advance of our forthcoming friendly at Gresty Road, YNWA looks at the careers of some of those who have represented both Crewe Alexandra and Liverpool over the years.
Current double agent
Centre-back Danny O'Donnell signed for Crewe last month after a successful season-long loan. He turned out 31 times for them last season, notching once. He had moved up to Melwood from the Academy full-time in the summer of 2005, having skippered the Under-18's during 2004/05.
Recent arrivals from Gresty Road
Danny Murphy arrived at Anfield from Crewe Alexandra for an overall £3m fee in July 1997 after 166 games for the Railwaymen. When his reds career stalled, he returned to Gresty Road on loan in early 1999, featuring in sixteen further games. He went on to make a total of 249 reds appearances, notching 44 times. He helped us to claim the UEFA Cup, FA Cup and League Cup before moving to Charlton Athletic for £2.5m in August 2004.
After ninety Crewe appearances, Rob Jones joined the reds for £300,000 in October 1991, becoming an Anfield regular at right-back, and later left-back. He famously failed to score in 243 rock-solid reds appearances, but persistent back problems led to his departure from Anfield and eventual retirement from the game. He helped us to win the FA Cup and Coca Cola Cup in his eight years at Anfield.
Loaned to Dario
Several players have joined Crewe on loan over recent years, including striker Jon Newby and full-back Stephen Wright. Newby played six times in early 2000, without scoring, while Wright appeared a total of 23 times in two spells during 1999/00. Midfielder Phil Charnock became our youngest ever player in Europe when he came on as a substitute against Apollon Limassol in September 1992. He left for Crewe Alexandra on a free transfer in December 1996, following a successful loan. He had only made two first-team appearances in three years as a professional at Anfield, both in cup competitions. He spent six years with the Alex, scoring eight times in 183 games, before moving to Bury.
Seventeen year old forward Wayne Harrison signed from Oldham Athletic for £250,000 in January 1985, then a record fee for a teenager, but never made a senior reds appearance before he retired due to injury in the summer of 1991, aged just 23. He played three League games on loan at Crewe in 1988/89. Defender Alan Navarro never made a first-team appearance for us, and moved to Tranmere Rovers for £225,000 in January 2002. He had two loan spells at Gresty Road in 2001, netting once in seventeen games.
On target from the back
Crewe was Bruce Grobbelaar's first English club, whom he joined on loan from Vancouver Whitecaps in December 1979, keeping eight clean sheets in 24 games. He actually scored in May 1980 from the penalty spot, in a League match against York City - having told his opposite number where he was going to place it! He moved from Canada to L4 in March 1981 for £250,000 and played 628 times for the reds, helping us to six League titles, one European Cup, three FA Cups and three League Cups.
Scottish inside-left Gordon Wallace only made 21 first-team appearances, netting six times, with his most famous game being the first to be screened on the BBC's Match Of The Day programme, when he grabbed a brace as we beat Arsenal 3-2 at Anfield in August 1964. He also netted twice on our European debut against Icelandic champions Knattspyrnufélag Reykjavíkur earlier that week. He moved to the Alex in October 1967, notching twenty times in 94 League games. 1920's forward Jimmy Walsh netted a brace on his reds bow, bagging a total of 27 goals in his 77 reds games, and later spent time with Crewe.
Mike Newell joined Crewe on a free transfer in September 1983 having failed to break into the first team at Anfield. He only lasted one month and three games at Gresty Road, before joining Wigan Athletic on another free transfer. He rejoined the Railwaymen in March 1999 for free, from Aberdeen. He only played four times in this second spell, before joining Doncaster Rovers three months later.
Former reserves striker John Miles signed for Crewe in August 2002 on a free transfer from Stoke City. He only scored once in just ten games before moving on to Macclesfield Town in May 2003. Graeme Souness signed Lee Jones from Wrexham for £300,000 in March 1992. He made four senior reds appearances, before moving to Tranmere Rovers for £100,000 in May 1997. During his time at Anfield, he joined Crewe on loan in 1993/94, striking once in eight League games.
1950's inside-left Jimmy Melia was player/manager of Crewe for eighteen months, just keeping them from the bottom of the 4th Division in 1973. After winning England caps at schoolboy and youth level, the Scotland Road-born inside-left broke into the reds first team, scoring on his debut in December 1955. He went on to net 79 times in 286 reds games, helping us to the First and Second Division titles. Former club secretary Peter Robinson previously filled the same role for Crewe, amongst several other clubs.
Other double agents
Ian Callaghan made a record 857 reds appearances, helping us to five League titles, two FA Cups, one European Cup, two UEFA Cups and the UEFA Super Cup. After spending time at Swansea City and Cork Hibernians, he played fifteen League games for Crewe in 1981/82. Left-winger Alan A'Court scored 63 times in 381 reds games, helping us to the Second Division title in 1962, and representing England at the 1958 World Cup. He later spent four months in a coaching role with Crewe.
Wing-half Bryan Williams netted five times in 34 reds games after arriving from South Liverpool at the end of the Second World War, moving on to Crewe Alexandra in May 1954, where he became a regular. Outside-right Fred Morris bagged fourteen goals in 48 reds games after joining from Mansfield Town for £1,500 in March 1958, before moving to Crewe Alexandra for £4,000 in June 1960, scoring once in just eight League games before joining Gillingham later that season.
Jon Otsemobor only played just six first-team games for us, before joining Rotherham United in July 2005, although he moved on to Crewe in January 2006, who he had also spent time with on loan from Anfield in 2004/05. He played fifty times in total across both spells, but joined Norwich City on a free transfer last month. Welsh full-back Stuart Mason struck once in four League games for Crewe while on loan from Chester during 1977/78. He had spent two seasons at Anfield without breaking through to our first team.
Left-winger George Pither only made twelve senior appearances while at Anfield, stepping in for the established Fred Hopkin. He moved to Crewe in May 1928. Midfielder Steve Arnold signed from Crewe Alexandra for £10,000 in September 1970, but only ever made one first-team appearance before joining Rochdale in June 1973. His career never really took off, and he retired from the game aged 23. Outside-right Tony McNamara signed from Everton for £4,000 in December 1957 after spending seven seasons across Stanley Park, but only made ten first-team appearances before joining Crewe Alexandra in July 1958. He bagged two goals in nine League outings before joining Bury.