Greens on Screen’s first page was published in January 1999. Its early purpose was to bring Plymouth Argyle a little closer to those unable to see their team, and whilst it has changed a great deal over the years, its core themes - sites and sounds for Westcountry exiles - still stand. The site was very lucky to take on the content of Trevor Scallan’s Semper Viridis in the summer of 2007, and in 2009 launched GoS-DB, a wealth of facts and figures from PAFC’s history. A year later we embarked on a complete history of Argyle, with much-valued contributions from chapter authors.
Greens on Screen is an amateur website and proud of it. It is run by one person as a hobby, although there have been aspects of the site over the years that would be much the poorer without the hard work and much-valued contributions of a small band of volunteers.
Greens on Screen is self-taught and as a result, a little bit quirky. Amongst a few stubborn principles, advertisements will never appear (and don’t get me started on the plague of betting promotions on other sites). It began its life before many others, including the club’s official site, when there was a large gap to be filled, and although there is now a wide variety to choose from, GoS’s sole aim, to be a service to fellow supporters, still seems to have a place.
Can you help? This page is the result of the best endeavours of all concerned. If you spot a mistake or know of facts to add, or have a better photo, please get in touch using 'Contact Us' (top, right).
Full Name: Joseph B. Gardiner
Born: 23 August 1916
Came from: Wolverhampton Wanderers Went to: Wolverhampton Wanderers
First game: 31 March 1945 Last game: 29 December 1945
Appearances: 11 (11/0) Goals: 0
Although the Second World War was at an end, the Football League divided its competition into regional sections for the 1945-46 season because of the exceptional conditions at that time, with so many players still serving in the Armed Forces or employed on essential war work. Argyle played in the Football League South that season, against first-class opposition such as Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs, Aston Villa and Wolves. It proved impossible for the Pilgrims to field a regular side; 72 players made an appearance and performances inevitably suffered. From week to week the club called on Armed Services players who were stationed in the area, guest players from other League clubs and local amateurs to supplement its registered playing staff.
Gardiner was one of 27 in the guest category. Born in Bearpark, just west of Durham, he grew up in the Langley Park area of Newcastle, which had also produced Bobby Robson. The defender had played for Durham County Boys when he was spotted by Wolverhampton Wanderers, for whom he signed in December 1932. He made his debut in February 1935 in a 5-2 defeat at Black Country rivals West Bromwich Albion. He went on to pick up an FA Cup runners-up medal in the 1939 final after defeat to Portsmouth.
He remained on the books at Molineux but guested for several clubs – a local stationing no doubt helping bring him to the attention of Argyle. He announced his retirement from playing in March 1944, but was lured back as a temporarily guest for Argyle for the first half of the 1945-46 season. After his debut in green, perhaps he wished he hadn't - it came in a remarkable 5-5 draw away at Southampton, followed by eight matches and no wins with the club.
With age now against him, he chose not to continue his career once the war was over, so finishing with 124 appearances for his only League club. He was immediately elevated to the backroom staff at Wolves and became a highly respected trainer under Stan Cullis as the Midlands side became one of the most feared in Europe, winning three championships and two FA Cups. The two struck up a good working relationship and when Cullis took charge of Birmingham City in 1965, Gardiner joined him, although later returned to Molineux in 1969 as a scout. In all he spent almost a half a century associated with Wolves and is credited with discovering one of their greatest players, the forward John Richards.
If you can add to this profile, perhaps with special memories, a favourite story or the results of your original research, please contribute here.
APPEARANCE DETAILS [reselect competitions]
The details below reflect appearances in all first-team competitions.
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