Gary Gardner

Gary Gardner
Date of Birth:
6' 1" (186cm)
12st 13lbs (82.0kg)
Previous Clubs:
Nottm Forest (loan), Brighton (loan), Sheff Wed (loan), Coventry (loan),

Midfielder Gary Gardner is a product of the Villa youth set up, having been at the club since the age of 13.

When on the verge of appearing for the U18s, he was forced out with an anterior cruciate ligament injury sustained in December 2009.

His determination saw him recover to become an integral member of the youth team and reserve sides.

Gardner scored a brace in the reserves 10-1 win over Arsenal in January 2011.

He also claimed assists for Andi Weimann and Jonathan Hogg's goals on that extraordinary night.

The midfielder was involved with the senior set-up during pre-season 2011-12 - and featured in the Barclays Asia Trophy final defeat to Chelsea.

Gardner was a also a key member in the inaugural NextGen series and was particuarly prolific during the group stages.

He scored against Fenerbahce and Rosenborg and grabbed all three goals in a 3-0 victory over Ajax.

He scored a last minute equaliser in the quarter-final against Marseille, which Villa went on to lose 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.

In order to gain further first team experience, Gardner joined Coventry City on loan.

Just 48 hours later he scored nine minutes into his debut in a defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion.

On New Year's Eve 2011, Gardner made his first league appearance for Villa from the bench in a 3-1 away win at Chelsea.

His first start came in a 3-2 victory away at local rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers on a day when Robbie Keane came back to haunt his former side.

Gardner maintained his place in the team as the season progressed due to major injury concerns and the illness of captain Stiliyan Petrov.

In August 2012, the luckless Gardner suffered another anterior cruciate ligament injury in his right knee, keeping him sidelined for up to eight months.

In May 2013, Gardner returned to the first team as an unused substitute against Chelsea and made his playing comeback on the final day of the term against Wigan.

Gardner is currently on loan at Brighton until January 2015.

Gardner has been capped by England up to U21 level.

He is the younger brother of former Villa and Birmingham City midfielder Craig Gardner, who now plays for the Baggies.

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