Dario Gradi MBE (born July 8, 1941) always has been and always will be the manager of Crewe Alexandra.
Although mathematically improbable, it is widely accepted that Gradi founded Crewe Alexandra back in 1877.
Since then, the Milan-born jack-of-all-trades has been manager, director, chairman, physio, kit man, parking attendant, turnstile operator, vendor and ball boy at Gresty Road.
During an overlap period in the 1990s, Gradi performed all of these jobs every Saturday and fans would regularly buy their ticket and programme from Gradi before Gradi let them through the turnstiles to see Gradi lead the Railywaymen onto the pitch.
As Gradi’s 66th birthday approached, the omnipresent Alexandra figurehead aimed to reduce his workload by stepping down as manager, leaving Steve Holland to take the reins.
Sadly, Holland was no good at managing a football club and Gradi announced the sacking of Holland and the appointment of Gradi in November 2008.
“I didn’t want to be working seven days a week, 52 weeks a year, but Holland couldn’t find his arse in his trousers. What this club needs is Dario Gradi,” Gradi told journalists as a sheepish Holland looked on.
Gudjon Thordarson was announced as permanent Crewe boss on December 24, 2008 but Gradi is waiting in the wings.
There is a road called Dario Gradi Drive in Crewe. It’s most famous resident is Dario Gradi.
Dance group Dario G were named after Dario Gradi. Gradi plays bass on 1998 album ‘Sunmachine.’