AustralianFootball.com Celebrating the history of the great Australian game
8 May 1881
3 April 1967 (aged 85)
Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 20y 1d
Last game: 27y 99d
Carlton; Melbourne; Cananore; North Hobart
Vin Gardiner (Brother)
|Club||League||Career span||Games||Goals||Avg||Win %||AKI||AHB||AMK||BV|
AFL: 636th player to appear, 2,764th most games played, 1,775th most goals kickedCarlton: 106th player to appear, 617th most games played, 547th most goals kickedMelbourne: 107th player to appear, 242nd most games played, 142nd most goals kicked
Jack Gardiner's involvement in football lasted over half a century and took in stints as a player, coach, umpire and administrator. The son of a prominent Carlton player of the 1870s, he commenced his own senior playing career with the Blues in 1901, but after just 16 games in two seasons he crossed to Melbourne. Slight of build, he nevertheless had the courage and skill necessary to succeed, and during five and a half seasons and 70 games with the Redlegs he established a reputation as one of the premier rovers in the league.
In 1908, Gardiner accepted the position of coach of the Tasmanian Football League, a role he combined with umpiring. After serving as Tasmania's coach at the inaugural interstate carnival in Melbourne he finished the 1908 season with his old club Melbourne, but the following year saw him back in Tasmania where he threw in his lot with Cananore. With Bruce Carter as playing-coach, and Gardiner as captain, the Canaries enjoyed unprecedented success over the next few seasons, winning premierships in 1909-10-11, and again in 1913. Gardiner's playing form was excellent, and he was a member of Tasmania's carnival team at Adelaide in 1911, helping the state to a commendable third place courtesy to a large extent of a hard fought five-point win over Western Australia.
After the Great War, Jack Gardiner resumed at Cananore, this time as captain-coach, leading the team to further premierships in 1921 and 1922. In 1924 he transferred to North Hobart as captain-coach, before finally retiring as a player, aged forty-two, at the end of the following season.
Remaining in Tasmania, Gardiner continued to be heavily involved in football in a variety of administrative roles for most of the next thirty years. He died in Hobart in 1967 at the age of eighty-four.
Author - John Devaney