|Date of birth||15 August 1929|
|Place of birth||Larbert, Scotland|
|Date of death||5 January 2007(aged 77)|
|Place of death||Stirling, Stirlingshire, Scotland|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Born in Larbert, Gardiner started career in reserve football in Scotland with Rangers but got little opportunity to play first-team football. He moved to England and signed for Leicester City for £4,000 under manager Dave Halliday.
He was a prolific goalscorer. In three seasons he scored 48 league goals in 69 games and was the leading goalscorer in the Second Division in the 1955-56 season. He lost his starting place in 1957 and was then playing reserve team football. In 1958 he signed for Reading, his time there being hampered by two serious injuries. He finished his career with Sudbury Town and later found employment as telephone exchange operator for British Telecom.
- "Willie Gardiner". Barry Hugman's Footballers Post-War Premier & Football League Players' Records. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
- Chris Carra (1 October 2014). Swansea City's Greatest Games. Pitch Publishing. pp. 34–. ISBN 978-1-909626-96-6.
- "Division 2 1955-56". www.footballsite.co.uk. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
- "Willie Gardiner". www.foxestalk.co.uk. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
- "Willie Gardiner". www.11v11.com. Retrieved 16 March 2015.