Success! Contact Established With Long-Time Target

Don Gardner Interview Coming Soon

Don Gardner up close and personal with Luton’s last line of defence on his Wolves senior debut 46 years ago.

Don Gardner, who became the first black player to appear in a senior competitive game for the club, has been tracked down at last by Wolves Heroes.

It is now approaching four years since we published a story on here to ask whether any of our readers knew his whereabouts.

We subsequently had a brief but far from definitive response with an acquaintance, then received an email earlier this month from someone else saying they knew the 65-year-old and were prepared to connect us.

A few hours after we had provided a phone number to the third party, Don rang us and said he was more than happy to chat at length about where life has taken him over the last four and a half decades.

The only bits we currently know, apart from his current profession in Birmingham, concern his football – and the fact that he played three times in Bill McGarry’s first team in the mid-1970s following his signing as an apprentice from under the noses of several other clubs.

The Jamaican-born attacking midfielder made his debut when going on for Steve Kindon in the 5-2 home win over Luton on March 31, 1975.

He then started the defeat at QPR five days later and was introduced in place of Steve Daley in the game at Derby during the following midweek.

Sadly, that was the last fans saw of Gardner at first-team level with Wolves, although he was part of a successful Portland Timbers line-up that summer along with Molineux colleagues Barry Powell, Peter Withe and Chris Dangerfield.

George Berry – made his debut two years after Gardner and had a much greater impact in Wolves’ first team.

It was just over two years after Gardner’s Wolves debut that George Berry made his first-team entrance in the Second Division title-clinching home draw against Chelsea. A third black player, Bob Hazell, first appeared in the middle of the following season.

We look forward to asking Don whether he remained unfulfilled with his time in the game and, beyond that, to finding out what provided him with a livelihood afterwards.

We will be ringing him back shortly to arrange an interview and will have great pleasure in sharing the results with our loyal Wolves Heroes readers.