In the 1979 BBC documentary, Great Railway Journeys of the World, as the camera pans over Crewe Alexandra's Gresty Road stadium, the inimitable Michael Palin describes the South Chesire town as "like those other railway towns, Swindon and Doncaster, possessed of a football team which is perpetually propping up the bottom of the Fourth Division".
What Palin did not anticipate was the arrival of the Milan-born Dario Gradi as Crewe manager four years later. Within six years the Railwaymen had escaped the country's basement division and, in 1997, they secured promotion to the heady heights of football's second-highest tier.
Alas, last Saturday's 3-0 home defeat to League Two champions Leicester City sent the Alex tumbling back down to the basement.
In order to provide hope for the Crewe faithful, and the fans of all those clubs relegated last weekend, here is a Dream Team of those players who helped make the Railwaymen such a breeding ground for success throughout the eighties and nineties.
Crewe's production line is emphasised by the list of those who missed out on selection, which includes Celtic legend Neil Lennon, the scourge of opposition fans, Robbie Savage, and the likes of Rangers' Madjid Bougherra and former Premier League striker, Ashley Ward.
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