A native of England, Gardner studied Pharmacy at the University of Nottingham and was a Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. He entered journalism in 1953 as assistant managing editor of the magazine Pharmacy Digest in London. He immigrated to the United States in 1959, working as the managing editor of the medical magazine MD of Canada, in New York and Montreal, until 1964.
In 1965, he began a career as a freelance photojournalist, living and working in England, Italy and North Africa. Since 1966, he has worked out of New York City as a freelance sports journalist and TV commentator specializing in soccer. His worldwide coverage of major soccer events includes eight FIFA World Cups (1978-2006), 10 FIFA Under-17 World Cups (1985-1999, 2003-2005), plus FIFA Under-20 World Cups, Olympics, European Championships and Copa America tournaments.
In addition to his regular columns that have appeared in multiple magazines (notably England’s World Soccer and Soccer America) and newspapers, Gardner has been a television commentator for ABC, NBC, CBS and ESPN, and has several books to his credit. He has been a film producer and was the scriptwriter and soccer adviser for the award-winning instructional series “Pele: The Master and His Method” in 1973.
Gardner is the sixth recipient of the Colin Jose Media Award and joins Jerry Trecker (Sportswriter, 2004), Seamus Malin (Broadcaster, 2005), George Tiedemann (Photographer, 2007), Ike Kuhns (Sportswriter, 2008) and Alex Yannis (Sportswriter, 2009) as an honoree.
The Colin Jose Media Award was created to honor the contributions of members of the print and electronic media including reporters, columnists, authors, broadcasters, editors, public/media relations professionals and others who specialize in communications with respect to soccer in the United States. The Award is named for Colin Jose, Historian Emeritus of the National Soccer Hall of Fame and the pre-eminent soccer historian of North America.