Ricardo Wayne Gardner (born 25 September 1978), commonly known as Bibi, is a Jamaican former professional footballer. He works as assistant coach at Portmore United. A left winger, he could also play in the centre of midfield or at left wingback. He last played for Bolton Wanderers in May 2012, completing a 14-year spell at the club, of which 11 were spent in the Premier League. Gardner earned 111 caps for the Jamaica national football team, scoring 9 goals and playing at four CONCACAF Gold Cups and the 1998 FIFA World Cup.
|Full name||Ricardo Wayne Gardner|
|Date of birth||25 September 1978|
|Place of birth||Saint Andrew Parish, Jamaica|
|Height||1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|Playing position(s)||Left winger, left wing-back|
|2011||→ Preston North End (loan)||4||(0)|
|2015–2018||Harbour View (Head coach)|
|2019–||Portmore United (Assistant coach)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Born in Saint Andrew, Jamaica, Gardner began his professional career with Harbour View, where he debuted as a starter at the age of only 14 years. He also, representing Wolmer's Boys' High School, dominated the local high school football leagues and was considered outstanding. His performances for Jamaica during the 1998 World Cup attracted English First Division side Bolton Wanderers to offer Harbour View £1 million for his services.
Gardner immediately established himself a place in the first team for Bolton. He came on as a substitute to make his debut against Hartlepool in the League Cup on 25 August 1998, and made his league debut as a substitute again against West Bromwich Albion on 8 September 1998. In this game, Bolton were reduced to 10 men after the sending off of Guðni Bergsson shortly after Gardner came on, but he scored a late winner to give his team a memorable 3–2 victory over West Brom. He made 22 appearances, half of them starts, in his first year while scoring three goals. In his second season, 1999–2000, he established a place in the starting eleven, starting 23 of 26 games, that he has held on to since. Although Gardner suffered a cruciate ligament injury that took him out of action at the end of the season, he made a full recovery, and was able to return to the starting line-up in 2000–01 (scoring in the 2001 Division One Play off Final), playing with the promoted Bolton in the Premier League. He was voted Bolton Wanderers F.C. Player of the Year for the 2005–06 season by the club's fans. Due to a knee injury, Gardner did not make his first appearance in the 2006–07 season until December.
In November 2007, he scored his first goal at club level in nearly five years when he opened the scoring in Bolton's 2–2 draw against German giants Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena in the UEFA Cup group stage. A year later after being moved from a wing-back role back into midfield he scored in the Wanderers 2–0 win over local rivals Manchester City.
Gardner made his 400th appearance for Bolton in a 3–0 defeat to Fulham on 27 April 2011. On 24 May 2011, he was in discussions to extend his Bolton contract into a fourteenth year. Gardner rejected a move to West Ham United favouring to sign a new one-year contract at Bolton, which he signed on 5 August. He made four league appearances at the beginning of the next season but was sent off for two bookable offences in Bolton's 3–1 defeat at Swansea City on 29 October  and then suffered an injury, making no further appearances that year.
At the close of the January 2012 transfer window, he wasn't named in Bolton's twenty five man Premier League squad for the second half of the season meaning he would play no further part in the league campaign. It was later revealed that he had been omitted due to having had an operation on his knee that the Bolton medical staff could not guarantee he would recover from in time to play again that season. It was announced on 18 May 2012 that Ricardo had left the club in line with the expiration of his contract. At the time, Gardner was the second longest serving foreign player in Premier League history after serving fourteen years at Bolton, only beaten by his former Bolton teammate Jussi Jääskeläinen.
Preston North End (loan)Edit
On 8 March 2011, Gardner went to Preston North End on an emergency one-month loan as cover for Phil Brown's side. Bolton manager Owen Coyle said it was a great chance for Gardner to improve his match fitness after only just recovering from injury.
After the end of his contract with Bolton Wanderers, he spent a year training at his old club, West Ham United and Barnsley to keep up his fitness, and played in two reserve team matches for West Ham but decided to leave England to seek a move to the MLS. He went on an unsuccessful trial at Real Salt Lake where he played for the reserves in a 1–0 win against the Portland Timbers reserves and announced his official retirement in May 2014.
Gardner rose to international prominence following the 1998 World Cup. Gardner has also been an important player for the Jamaica national team for much of the last decade[when?] and has earned his place as the team's captain. He was captain for the team between 2005 and 2009. He also Captained the team for one game in 2012 at the 2012 Caribbean Cup.
In December 2015, Gardner was appointed as coach of the Jamaica U-20 team. Gardner resigned as Harbour View FC Head coach in December 2018. In March 2019, Gardner joined the staff of Portmore United F.C. as assistant coach.
Gardner is a rastafarian and sports dreadlocks. He is part owner, with Robert Scarlett and Ian Goodison, of a record label, Heart of Love Production, which promotes ragga and dancehall music.
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Other||Total|
|Bolton Wanderers||1998–99||First Division||30||2||1||0||3||1||–||3||0||37||3|
|Preston North End (loan)||2010–11||Championship||4||0||0||0||0||0||–||–||4||0|
- Hugman, Barry J. (ed) (2008). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2008–09. Mainstream. ISBN 978-1-84596-324-8.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
- "Bibi – the 'big dog' now". Jamaica Gleaner. 11 October 2008. Archived from the original on 7 October 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2011.
- "Bibi vs Boyz". Jamaica Star. Archived from the original on 30 October 2012. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
- "Hartlepool 0 Bolton 3 (Agg: 0–4)". Sporting Life. 25 August 1998. Retrieved 28 March 2012.[dead link]
- "West Bromwich Albion 2 Bolton Wanderers 3". Sporting Life. 8 September 1998. Archived from the original on 19 October 2011. Retrieved 28 March 2012.
- "Vote for your 2017/18 Bolton Wanderers Player of the Year!". Bolton Wanderers. 30 April 2018. Retrieved 22 June 2020.
- McGill, Aldwyn (27 May 2012). "Jamaica Football: Reggae Boyz History". Stars Soccer Review. Caribbean Stars. p. 5. Retrieved 22 June 2020.
- "Bolton 2-0 Man City". BBC Sport. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
- "Relegated Bolton release 'Bibi' Gardner". www.jamaicaobserver.com. 18 May 2012. Archived from the original on 20 May 2012. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
- Ricardo rejects Sam to stick with Whites The Bolton News, 17 June 2011
- Bibi says delighted with new deal at Bolton Archived 17 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine Jamaica Observer, 7 August 2011
- "Swansea 3-1 Bolton". BBC Sport. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
- Premier League Clubs submit Squad Lists Archived 27 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine Premier League, 2 February 2012
- Gardner out for season - but not for good The Bolton News, 7 February 2012
- Van Persie given tantalising taste of what could be The Independent, 19 December 2011
- "Ricardo Gardner". Preston North End FC. Archived from the original on 20 March 2011. Retrieved 16 June 2011.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 December 2015. Retrieved 10 January 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Gardner joins flourishing Portmore United". Jamaica Star. 15 March 2019. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
- "Set Me Free Riddim – Various Artists (VA)". Caribbean Music Database. Archived from the original on 11 September 2011. Retrieved 17 June 2011.
- Ricardo Gardner at Soccerbase
- "Ricardo Gardner". Bolton Wanderers F.C. Archived from the original on 23 December 2008. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
- Ricardo Gardner at Soccerbase
| Jamaica national football team captain