Dario Gradi proud to leave legacy at Crewe Alexandra

Former Crewe Alexandra manager Dario Gradi

Gradi took charge of Crewe Alexandra for more than 1,400 matches

Departing manager Dario Gradi has said he is extremely proud of what he has achieved during 28 years at Crewe.

The 70-year-old stepped down to become academy director on Thursday  and has been replaced by assistant Steve Davis.

"When I first came for an interview in June 1983, they said they wanted me to keep them in the league," Gradi told BBC Radio Stoke .

"I think I've probably done a bit better than that. I've achieved what I was asked to and perhaps a bit more."

He added: "When I go to my grave, I'll probably feel as though I've achieved something with my life."

Gradi's first spell in charge at Gresty Road ended in 2007, during which time he guided Crewe to four promotions and their highest-ever finish of 11th in the Championship.

He also nurtured the talents of future internationals  such as David Platt, Geoff Thomas, Danny Murphy, Seth Johnson, Robbie Savage and Dean Ashton, earning the club around £25m in transfer fees.

Having filled the role of technical director for two years, Gradi returned as manager in October 2009 following the unsuccessful reigns of Steve Holland and Gudjon Thordarson.

Davis, formerly the manager of non-league Nantwich Town, has said he is very honoured to take control of first-team affairs.

"I'm very privileged to be manager of Crewe because there haven't been many," he told BBC Radio Stoke.

"Not many have been given the opportunity because Dario has done such a great job.

"He's made the decision to move on, I've been offered the opportunity and it's up to me now."

Davis and new assistant manager Neil Baker will take charge of Crewe for the first time against Colchester in the FA Cup on Saturday.