Longtime Victoria Shamrocks trainer gets Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame nod

Jim Cain began his tenure with the Shamrocks in 1979 and won seven Mann Cups

Longtime Victoria Shamrocks trainer Jim Cain with former ‘Rock Marty O’Neill after one of Cain’s seven Mann Cup victories. The popular trainer will be inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame this fall. (Photo submitted by Jim Cain).

When Jim Cain received word that he was bound for the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame, the longtime Victoria Shamrocks trainer broke down.

“It means everything to me for my career with the Shamrocks,” he said, noting that he was waiting at a store when he heard the good news. “I’m glad I was sitting down…I was very emotional.”

Cain began his career with the Shamrocks in 1978, winning the first of what would be seven Mann Cups in his second season with the club. He quickly endeared himself to the team’s players, earning the nickname “Downtown” from Bob Cool for his eagerness to join the guys for a drink or two downtown.

“He nicknamed me ‘Downtown’ because I was single and I was going downtown for the ladies and stuff,” he laughed. “And it stuck all these years. Here I am married with kids and grandkids, and I’m still ‘Downtown’.”

While the highlights from his time behind the ‘Rocks’ bench are numerous, a few do stand above the rest.

Of all the championship teams he was a part of, Cain has particularly fond memories of the 1983 team because of the unexpected nature of their success.

“As I always say, we were kind of a lunch bucket team that wasn’t expected to do anything. We finally put it together in the end but it was sort of a mediocre team by today’s standards and we won the Mann Cup,” he said.

One of his proudest moments came in the last dozen years of his tenure. As Cain says, his job was to keep the players in the game, and one year high-scoring forward Lewis Ratcliff was faced with trying to play through a significant knee injury during the Mann Cup.

“I perfected a tape job that I’d never done before…I put strips on him and it took me almost 45 minutes to tape him every night. He played the whole series. I was quite proud of what I did,” Cain said.

Ratcliff is far from the only player to play through an injury in the rough and tumble sport, and Cain says the toughest pound for pound player that he ever saw was also one of the Shamrocks’ best in Kevin Alexander.

“I watched pretty much all 800 of his goals go in and watched him get beaten every night with a wood stick. For a 175-pound man, he was the toughest,” he said.

Cain left the club after its 2015 Mann Cup win and he says that while it was tough to leave the team, he’s also taken advantage of the opportunity to spend more time with family.

He will be officially inducted on Nov. 18 in New Westminster.

“I was thinking about my hall of fame speech the other day and I started naming out a few people from the different decades and I was up to 60 people already. I can’t do that, I’ve got to trim that down somehow,” he laughed.


Twitter: @joelgazette

Just Posted

Smell of pot plants sparks social media debate

A noticeable smell on Sooke Road has caught the attention of residents

Horgan indicates Highway 14 improvements coming soon

Premier says looming announcement part of much more coming for south coast connector

Caring trumps racism for retired Langford fire chief

Support for Haitian orphans continues

West Shore RCMP seeking bikes stolen from Langford condo

Public asked to keep an eye out for three bicycles

Community rallies behind Sooke boy with rare condition

Dozens called on government to cover cost of drug for six-year-old Landen Alexa

Body discovered in burnt out car near Trail

Police report a body was found in the burnt out trunk of a 1999 Honda Civic

VIDEO: B.C. Lions sign defensive back T.J. Lee to contract for upcoming season

The four-year veteran had a team-high four interceptions and 49 tackles last season with B.C.

Editorial: It’s what we do with anger that matters

Langford resident reacts to Trump’s comments

How an immigrant to Canada helped Donald Trump prove his mental health

Test that cleared Trump was developed by doctor associated with McGill and Sherbrooke universities

Premier touches on multiple topics ahead of Asia trade trip

Housing and childcare are expected to be the focus of the BC NDP’s first budget in February.

Wanted by Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers for the week of Jan. 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

UPDATE: Friends mourn boy, 15, killed in Vancouver shooting

John Horgan: ‘No stone is to be left unturned until we find the perpetrator of this heinous crime’

Vernon to host largest Special Olympics B.C. Winter Games in 2019

Games to be held Feb. 21-23, with more than 800 athletes expected to take part

Most Read