WATN - Neil Sorvel
Neil Sorvel, born 2nd March 1973, started out at the Alex as a youngster but at the time failed to make the grade. He signed for Macclesfield Town as a 20 year old in 1993 and went on to spend six years with the Silkmen.
In his time at Moss Rose Sorvel saw a promotion to the Football League denied, promotion into the league, promotion to Division Two (League One) and relegation back down to Division Three (League Two).
In summer 1999 Sorvel made a return to Gresty Road on a free transfer. From the first game of the 99-00 season he went on to play virtually every game of the season and even bagged six goals from his defensive midfield role.
However, his style of play didn't always cut it with fans as it did with the management. His unspectacular style, that rarely saw passes beyong reaching distance or crunching tackles, never much of the Alex faithful. Some did argue though that he was the unsung hero who cemented the midfield together and kept things ticking over.
By the start of the 2000-2001 season he was a permanent fixture in the first Alex eleven alongside the likes of Kenny Lunt. For the next two seasons he played near enough every game but failed, liked most, to help keep the Alex in the Championship as relegation took Crewe into League One for the 2002-2003 season.
Whilst the division changed the Alex, nothing was changed where Sorvel was concerned. Still a big part in the side he was number one talking point; should he play or not? Fans have never truly come to an agreement on that.
His best moment in the 02-03 season was almost certainly his 20 yard 'shin' that secured Crewe a point over rivals Port Vale, followed by a goal of the season contender at Barnsley a month later. Sorvs could only really score one sort of goal and that was always a bit of a hit and hope from the edge of the area. They were two goals that may well have been vital to Crewe securing promotion that season.
03/04 was scattered with injuries but Sorvs still managed 31 appearances.
04/05 was to be Sorvel's last at Gresty Road. This despite still being a regular in the side during a season that saw the Alex rise to as high as 8th in January and only stay in the Championship in the last 15 minutes of the season.
In total he played he played 293 times for the Railwaymen before leaving for Shrewsbury in summer 2004.
Sorvel spent just eighteen months with Shrewsbury but managed another 60 performances in his time at Gay Meadow. In January 2007 Sorvs returned to play for his former Macc Town boss Sammy McIlroy at Morecambe.
Morecambe were at the time fighting for promotion to the Football League and play-off success, including a game at Wembley, capped off Sorvel's fourth promotion of his career as he once again returned to the Football League.
Still plying his trade at Morecambe, Sorvs has played a good majority of the games this season. In February he spent a month on loan at Southport but since his return to Morecambe in March he has been back in the team.
With his contract up in May, it remains to be seen if 35 year old Sorvs will remain in the Football League - and possibly facing the Alex - for yet another year.