Back to Saturday 13th of May 1989 and a memorable day in the history of Crewe Alexandra Football Club.
With one game away at Tranmere Rovers to play the Alex sat in fourth place in the Barclays League Divison 4 behind Scunthorpe United on goal difference. Backed by 5,000 travelling supporters in a gate of 15,286 the Alex lined up –
Greygoose, Swain, Edwards,Billing, Callaghan, Walters, Jasper, Clayton, Sussex, Gardiner and Fishenden. Substitutes Gage and Cronin.
Kick off was delayed by 10 minutes due to crowd congestion so we had the advantage of hearing through the transistor radios that Orient were leading Scunthorpe and a draw could be enough for promotion. Typically the Alex don’t make life easy and fell behind to Ian Muir’s header. It remained 1-0 at half-time and the league position remained the same.
Midway through the second half the moment we had been waiting for shortly arrived. Mark Gardiner was fouled in the box giving Paul Fishenden the chance to equalise from the penalty spot. Eric Nixon guessed correctly diving to his right and saving the penalty.
Finally the moment did arrive as Paul Clayton equalised to send the Alex hordes wild with delight. Wakeley Gage came on to shore up the defence and with both teams promoted the match for the last ten minutes was a lesson in keeping the ball as the Alex kept possession. Both sets of supporters invaded the pitch in a good natured celebration as our first promotion since 1968 was a confirmed third place finish.
Dario commented that he had thoroughly enjoyed the season and that the supporters were obviously enjoying themselves!!