anthony gardner - fact file

2000 - 2008            defender

Born on 19th September 1980 in Stafford, England.

Height : - 1.95m (6' 5")

Weight : -  91.1 kgs


A junior English Schools sprinter, who at 6'5" is a strapping young man.  Gardner started at the Port Vale Academy at the age of 11, joining their and progressed through the ranks.  On his arrival at Tottenham, he appeared level-headed enough to realise he had some work to do before he was ready for the Premiership.

Comfortable on the ball and quick off it, he can play left side of defence too and gets forward for set pieces.  A dedicated player who was popular with the Vale fans and they were very upset to lose him for such a reasonable fee, considering him to be worth twice the potential 1.5 million he could cost Spurs.

Originally a centre-forward or a left winger, he has been converted into a defender and made his debut against Sheffield United in October 1998.  Originally selected by John Rudge, the new manager Brian Horton stuck with Gardner in defence and he played most of the games for the rest of that season.

He struggled at the start of the 2000-2001 season with injury, but was turning in good performances at left back (!) in the reserves and got his chance through injuries at the back.  Made his debut at Derby County coming on as sub and looked assured in possession, making some important challenges when players were through on goal. Got a run in the side towards the end of 2000-2001 and did very well, but ended the season leaving the pitch with a knee ligament injury minutes into the final game against Man U.  This will put him out of the game until October 2001 and will mean he has to break into the side again.  Something he did at the tail end of 2001-2002 and then carried on at the start of the following season, showing great maturity.

With injury striking just when he got back into the side each time during 2002-03, Anthony didn't get an opportunity to string many games together and Hoddle really wanted to pair him with Dean Richards in defence.  This didn't happen often enough to establish a partnership again, but coming into the 2003-04 season, they paired  up and made a good impression.  However, Hoddle's sacking lead to Pleat introducing a 4-4-2 formation that made the midfield more solid and provided more protection for the back four, helping them tighten up in front of Keller.

A frustrating 2004-05 season followed with more injuries (niggling foot injury and a broken nose) and Anthony seemingly becoming less confident, although he was played out of position at left-back on occasion.  This left him poised to leave the club at the end of the season, only for a potential move to Charlton Athletic to break down over a failed medical.

The start of the 2005-06 season left Tottenham without Ledley King and Gardner and Michael Dawson formed a good pairing in the middle of defence, as Spurs headed the league after a couple of rounds of games.  Anthony seemed more assured and despite the pressure from Calum Davenport's presence in the squad, he looked a much better player and that might have been because he was free of injury.

For the 2006-07 season, Gardner was one of three central defenders vying as cover for Michael Dawson and Ledley King.  With King suffering with a recurrent foot and hip condition, it would have been an ideal opening for Gardner to stand in, especially as Davenport was sold in the January transfer window, but in the FA Cup Sixth Round match at Chelsea, he landed awkwardly after jumping to head the ball and fractured his fibula.  So once more injury was the thing that held back Anthony's progress at a vital time in his career.

With Ledley King once more missing the start of the season, Gardner started in 2007-08, but injury against Getafe in the UEFA Cup ended his campaign and Ramos brought in Jonathan Woodgate to provide competition into the middle of the defence, leaving Anthony on the sidelines.  It was perhaps not too surprising that he signed for newly promoted Hull City to get more first team action, becoming the Tigers record purchase in the process.

Did well at the KC stadium, but when the Hull side dropped into the Championship and money was tight, they loaned him out to Crystal Palace for the 2010-11 season, in which he played a part in keeping them in the Championship.

Returning to the KC Communications stadium, Hull released Gardner in the close season and with rumours of a move to Birmingham City (managed by Chris Hughton) or Nottingham Forest, Anthony decided to re-join Crystal Palace as a free agent in August 2011 and was in the side that reached the League Cup semi-final in 2012.

At the end of the 2011-12 season, Anthony was allowed to leave on a free transfer to join Sheffield Wednesday.



Career Record
Club Signed Fee Debut Apps Goals
Port Vale (trainee) May 1997 - - - -
Port Vale (professional) July 1998 - 31st October 1998  v  Sheffield United  44 + 1 as a sub 4
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR January 2000 1,000,000 3rd March 2001 v Derby County (Away)  Lost 1-2  144 3
Everton ?? Loan ??  0 0
Hull City 22nd August 2008 2,500,000 ??  ?? ??
Crystal Palace 31st August 2010 - 8th May 2011 Loan ??  27 + 2 as a sub 1
Crystal Palace 19th August 2011 Free ??  ?? ??
Sheffield Wednesday 21st June 2012 Free ??  ?? ??
- ?? ?? ??  ?? ??

Port Vale
40 + 1 as a sub League appearances; 4 goals
1 FA Cup appearance; goals
3 League Cup appearances; goals
0 Other appearances; goals
94 + 20 as a sub League appearances; 2 goals
11 + 3 as a sub FA Cup appearances; 0 goals
13 League Cup appearances; 1 goal
3 European appearances; 0 goals
Everton (Loan)
0 League appearances; 0 goals
0 FA Cup appearances; 0 goals
0 League Cup appearances; 0 goals
Hull City
- League appearances; goals
- FA Cup appearances; goals
- League Cup appearances; goals
- Other appearances; goals
Crystal Palace (Loan)
26 + 2 as a sub League appearances; 1 goal
1 FA Cup appearance; 0 goals
0 League Cup appearances; 0 goals
0 Other appearances; 0 goals
- -
- League appearances; goals
- FA Cup appearances; goals
- League Cup appearances; goals
- Other appearances; goals
- -
- League appearances; goals
- FA Cup appearances; goals
- League Cup appearances; goals
- Other appearances; goals

England international
1 full cap;  0 goals
Under-21 - 1 cap; 0 goals



If he was ruler of the Universe for a day he would put all the countries of the world on an equal financial footing.
Doesn't like cucumber.
Favourite pre-match meal - poached egg on toast.
Always watches a film before going to bed the night before away games.
Influence as a youngster - John Barnes
Plays computer games with Tom Huddlestone, Aaron Lennon and Jermaine Jenas on away trips.
Biggest joker at the club - Hossam Ghaly and Robbie Keane
Most intellectual player at the club - Paul Stalteri
Most difficult opponents - Hernan Crespo and Thierry Henry
Eats plenty of carbohydrates and drinks lots of water in the build up to games.
His Mum - Lolita - was 100m and 200m Staffordshire county champion sprinter for a couple of years and participated in the national championships.
Sang "All Night Long" by Lionel Richie in a karaoke night with Ledley King when in Korea for the Peace Cup.
Dad Derek had trials with Leeds United as a player and cousin Carl was in the same youth team as Anthony at Port Vale and played University football in the USA.
Favourite ride at Alton Towers was Nemesis.


What they said about Anthony Gardner
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What Anthony Gardner said about ...
getting his chance in the Spurs first team ...  17.03.2001 (THFC programme)

"I was disappointed that everybody was getting a chance and I wasn't.  I just wanted the opportunity to show what I could do and now I don't want to stop there.  My intention is to keep playing well for the reserves and hopefully get another chance.  It (his debut) was unexpected, but it's a weight off my shoulders to finally make it.  I've been here a year now without a first team appearance and people say it is best to get your debut out of the way as quickly as possible.  It all came out of the blue.  I didn't have a lot of time for nerves but I got a few early touches and that settled me down."

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