The Club would like to thank Craig for his efforts and wish him every success in the future.BCFC
Gardner had been assisting Aitor Karanka and his staff after taking on his first coaching role in July but informed the Club of his departure over the weekend.
His exit brings to an end his professional association with Blues which spanned two separate spells, during which time, the 33-year-old made the transition from playing to coaching.
A lifelong Blues fan, Gardner initially joined the Club from Aston Villa, where he emerged through the youth ranks, in January 2010.
A goalscoring midfielder who was comfortable off both feet, he fired the winning goal in the Carling Cup Semi-Final win over West Ham United, to take Blues to Wembley – one of many memorable high points.
He made history a few months later, starting in the Carling Cup winning side who dramatically beat Arsenal to secure the Club’s first piece of silverware for 48 years.
He re-joined the Club, initially on loan in January 2017, the first time in his career he had played in any division other than the top-flight.
The deal became permanent and the more experienced Gardner became an influential figure in the dressing room and latterly so on the training pitches at Wast Hills.
He officially retired from playing when his contract expired in the spring of 2020 and when Aitor Karanka and his staff arrived in the summer, Gardner helped the new arrivals to settle into the Club he knows best.
Whether playing or coaching, his commitment to the role and his desire for the Club to succeed, has never wavered.
The Club would like to thank Craig for his efforts and wish him every success in the future.
Once a Blue…