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.