Joe Gardiner

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Joe Gardiner
Personal information
Date of birth (1916-08-23)23 August 1916
Place of birth Bearpark, County Durham, England
Date of death 1997 (aged 80–81)
Place of death Wolverhampton, England
Playing position Defender
Youth career
Durham County Boys
1932–1933 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1933–1944 Wolverhampton Wanderers 121 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Joseph Gardiner (23 August 1916 – 1997) was an English footballer, who served Wolverhampton Wanderers as both player and coach.


Gardiner joined Wolverhampton Wanderers in December 1932, signing professionally the following year before making his league debut on 23 February 1935 in a 2-5 loss at Black Country rivals West Bromwich Albion.

He originally joined as a centre-forward but was converted to a centre-back, as he became a first choice player in the seasons preceding World War II. He appeared in the 1939 FA Cup Final for the club, where they lost to Portsmouth in the Wembley showpiece. He also narrowly missed out on glory in the league championship as the club finished runners-up for two successive seasons in the late 1930s.

He remained with the club while the Football League was suspended during wartime, turning out in regional action. He announced his playing retirement in May 1944 but remained on the coaching staff. He was the club's main trainer in the Stan Cullis era as the club became one of the great sides of Europe, winning three league titles and two FA Cups.

When Cullis became manager of neighbours Birmingham City in 1965, Gardiner joined him again. He returned to Wolves in 1969 as a scout, and helped discover the likes of John Richards.

He died in 1997.


Wolverhampton Wanderers