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Dario Gradi MBE

DLC Physical Education 3 Yr Dip 1963, Hon Grad 2003

Dario Gradi is an Italian-born English football manager and former player. He has been associated for almost thirty years with Crewe Alexandra, with whom he was the Director of Football and also Director of the academy.

After a period of teaching, Dario turned to football coaching, becoming Assistant Coach at Chelsea in 1971 at the age of just 29. This was followed by coaching and management posts at Sutton United, Derby County, Wimbledon, and a two-year spell as youth-coach at Leyton Orient.

He had a 24-year first spell as manager of Crewe between 1983 and 2007. He stepped down from his managerial role in 2007 and became technical director. At that time, Gradi was the longest serving manager of an English football league club. After returning as manager in 2009, he stepped down on 10 November 2011 to focus on youth development at Crewe. 2003 he was made an Honorary Freeman of the Borough of Crewe and Nantwich and in the same year was awarded an honorary doctorate by Loughborough University.

Dario was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2004, alongside Arsene Wenger, Brian Clough, Bobby Robson, Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Matt Busby, in recognition of his impact as a manager in the English game.

Most recently Dario Gradi has been named as part of the redeveloped FA Commission under FA Chairman Greg Dyke, with the role of assessing improvements to English Football. Gradi has long been held in high esteem within the game of football having developed players such as David Platt, Danny Murphy, Nick Powell, Ashley Westwood and Dean Ashton. He has also received a Contribution to League Football award from the Football League Chairman Greg Clarke in 2011.