Glasgow born full back Dave Gardner began his football career with Wellpark Juniors before joining Third Lanark in August 1895 scoring once in 48 Scottish League appearances for The Warriors. His performances earned him international recognition when he won a Scotland international cap in a 1-1 draw against Wales in Wrexham in March 1897 and in May 1899 he joined First Division Newcastle United, making his Football League debut at West Bromwich Albion that September, scoring twice in 78 appearances for The Magpies over the next 3 seasons.
He moved to Grimsby Town in May 1902 for £250, and he was in the Grimsby Town team that beat Newcastle United 2-1 in the F.A. Cup in February 1903, and although they were relegated in his first season he stayed with them before joining Southern League West Ham United in July 1904 after 54 appearances for The Mariners. He had 3 seasons in East London, making 80 appearances, before joining Croydon Common in October 1907, with whom he finished his career with 5 seasons of service, making 40 appearances, scoring twice.
He was temporarily Croydon’s manager from February 1910 to the end of the season, and trainer until the club folded in 1916. He also appeared for Croydon Common in 1915-16, while the club’s trainer, in a 3-0 defeat at Watford in December 1915, as only 8 players had travelled – Gardner, manager John Bowman and assistant trainer Charlie Hollidge made up the numbers! He then became trainer of Leicester City from August 1919 until his death in August 1931 from a heart attack while playing golf with the Leicester players.
NB he was the third of 3 Gardners to pay for Newcastle at the same time with Alec and Andy, all three were Scots and all were unrelated.