Gardner playing for Aston Villa in 2012
|Full name||Gary Gardner|
|Date of birth||29 June 1992|
|Place of birth||Solihull, England|
|Height||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)|
|Playing position||Central midfielder|
|2011||→ Coventry City (loan)||4||(1)|
|2014||→ Sheffield Wednesday (loan)||3||(0)|
|2014||→ Brighton & Hove Albion (loan)||17||(2)|
|2015||→ Nottingham Forest (loan)||18||(4)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 3 May 2015.
Gary Gardner (born 29 June 1992) is an English footballer who plays as a central midfielder for Aston Villa. A product of the Aston Villa Academy, Gardner has spent brief loan spells at Coventry City in 2011 as well as Sheffield Wednesday and Brighton & Hove Albion in 2014. He has made a number of appearances at different international levels for England. He is the younger brother of current West Bromwich Albion midfielder and former Aston Villa team-mate Craig Gardner.
Gardner started his career at Aston Villa with older brother Craig, but before he could even make an appearance for the under-18s, he was forced out with an anterior cruciate ligament injury sustained in December 2009. He later returned from injury and became an important member of Aston Villa's under-18 and reserve sides.
Gardner scored twice in Aston Villa reserves' 10–1 win over Arsenal on 10 January 2011, firstly catching out Gunners' goalkeeper James Shea to break the deadlock before scoring another from the penalty spot. He also claimed assists for Andreas Weimann and Jonathan Hogg's goals. The midfielder made his unofficial début for Aston Villa's first team in a pre-season friendly, coming on as a substitute for captain Stiliyan Petrov in the 2011 Barclays Asia Trophy final loss to Chelsea.
He also represented Aston Villa in the inaugural season of the NextGen series, a European competition similar in format to the UEFA Champions League for younger footballers to compete in. During the group stage, Gardner scored single goals against Fenerbahçe and Rosenborg. In Villa's last group match, Gardner scored all three goals in a 3–0 victory over Ajax. On 25 January, he scored a last minute equaliser in the quarter-final match against Marseille; Villa went on to lose the tie 2–1 in extra time. Gardner's six goals made him the competition's joint second-highest goalscorer that year and the highest scoring midfielder, alongside Rosenborg's Mushaga Bakenga and Betinho of Sporting CP.
On 24 November 2011, Gardner joined Coventry City on an initial one-month loan deal. Two days later, he scored just 9 minutes into his début for the club in a 2–1 defeat against Brighton & Hove Albion. After making just four appearances for the Sky Blues in the Championship, Gardner was recalled from his loan spell by his parent club on 21 December.
On 31 December 2011, Gardner made his first league appearance for Villa in a 3–1 away win at Chelsea. He came off the bench as a substitute for Marc Albrighton in the 78th minute. He came off the bench once again on 7 January 2012 as Villa beat Bristol Rovers in the FA Cup Third Round. On 21 January 2012, Gardner made his first start for Villa in a 3–2 win away at Wolverhampton Wanderers. Gardner maintained his place in the team as the season progressed due to major injury concerns and the illness of captain Stiliyan Petrov.
On 22 August 2012, Gardner suffered another anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury in his right knee – the same injury that kept him out in for a year in 2009. The injury would keep him out of action for up to 8 months. Gardner returned to the Villa first team as an unused substitute against Chelsea on 11 May 2013 and made his playing comeback on the final day of the season against Wigan.
On 10 January 2015, Gardner joined Nottingham Forest for the remainder of the season. On 28 February 2015, Gardner won Sky Sports #goaloftheday for his wonder strike against Reading in a Championship league game, with fellow Forester Ben Osborn taking third place for his opener in the same match.
- Scores and results list England's goal tally first.
|U19 international goals|
|1.||17 November 2009||Glanford Park, Scunthorpe, England||Turkey||2–1||3–1||Friendly|
- Scores and results list England's goal tally first.
|U21 international goals|
|1.||10 November 2011||Colchester Community Stadium, Colchester, England||Iceland||4–0||5–0||2013 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship qualification|
|2.||10 November 2011||Colchester Community Stadium, Colchester, England||Iceland||5–0||5–0||2013 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship qualification|
As of 14 February 2015
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|Aston Villa||2011–12||Premier League||14||0||2||0||0||0||—||16||0|
|Coventry City (loan)||2011–12||Championship||4||1||0||0||0||0||—||4||1|
|Sheffield Wednesday (loan)||2013–14||Championship||3||0||1||0||0||0||—||4||0|
|Brighton & Hove Albion (loan)||2014–15||Championship||17||2||0||0||3||0||—||20||2|
|Nottingham Forest (loan)||2014–15||Championship||18||4||0||0||0||0||—||18||4|
Gardner is the brother of fellow professional football, Craig Gardner, also a product of the Aston Villa youth system. The siblings contribute funds to a boxing gym in their hometown of Birmingham, which was featured on an episode of Soccer AM in 2011.
- "Barclays Premier League Squad Numbers 2013/14". Premier League. 16 August 2013. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
- "Gary Gardner". Aston Villa F.C. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
- "Match report: Villa Res 10-1 Arsenal Res". Aston Villa F.C. 10 January 2011. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
- "Villa in Hong Kong report: McLeish's men fall in final to Chelsea". Aston Villa F.C. 30 July 2011. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
- "MatchReport: Aston Villa vs Fenerbahce". NextGen Series. 28 September 2011. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- "Aston Villa – Rosenborg". NextGen Series. 2 November 2011. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- "NextGen Series report: Villa U19s 3–0 Ajax U19s". Aston Villa Football Club. 22 November 2011. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- "NextGen Series quarter-final match report: Villa 1–2 Marseille [AET]". Aston Villa Football Club. 25 January 2012. Retrieved 11 April 2012.
- "Gary Gardner joins Coventry on loan from Aston Villa". BBC Sport. 24 November 2011. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
- "Brighton 2–1 Coventry". BBC News. 26 November 2011.
- "Villa recall England U21 star Gardner from Coventry loan spell". Daily Mail (London). 21 December 2011.
- "Chelsea 1 – 3 Aston Villa". BBC Sport. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
- "Bristol Rovers 1 – 3 Aston Villa". BBC Sport. 7 January 2012. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
- "Wolves 2 – 3 Aston Villa". BBC Sport. 21 January 2012. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
- "Aston Villa midfielder Gary Gardner faces long lay-off". BBC Sport. 24 August 2012. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
- "Gary Gardner joins Sheffield Wednesday". Sheffield Wednesday F.C. 12 February 2014. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
- "Nottingham Forest sign Aston Villa midfielder Gary Gardner on loan". Nottingham Forest F.C. 10 January 2015. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
- Gary Gardner wins #goaloftheday poll. Sky Sports News HQ on Twitter. 28 February 2015. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
- "England U21 5–0 Iceland U21". BBC Sport. 11 November 2011. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
- Gary Gardner career statistics at Soccerbase Retrieved 12 February 2014.
- "The gloves are on!". Soccer AM. 8 April 2011. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
- Gary Gardner profile at the Aston Villa website
- Gary Gardner career statistics at Soccerbase
- England profile at the FA