With 37 years of service and seven Mann Cup rings to his name, former Victoria Shamrocks trainer Jim (Downtown) Cain was inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in the Builder category on Saturday night in New Westminster.
He joins a prestigious list of Shamrocks inducted into the hall including the likes of Gary and Paul Gait, Kevin Alexander, Fred (Whitey) Severson, Archie Browning, James (Pee Wee) Bradshaw, Chris Hall and current assistant coach Art Webster, to name a few.
It’s an honour Cain, who joined the Shamrocks in 1979, will cherish throughout his lifetime, he told Hall of Fame officials.
“It means everything to me. When I was asked to come on board, I was thrilled to bits,” he recalled of first joining the organization upon coach Bill Munroe’s request. “They had heard about me from hockey, because I did hockey for about 19 years.
“Bill Munroe was a good friend of mine and he said: ‘We’re going to take a run at the cup.’ They had just lost in 1978 and he said: ‘We want you to come on board and give the guys a hand and keep them healthy.’ I said: ‘When do we start?’ ”
The Shamrocks won the Mann Cup that season, Cain’s first of seven. He went to another eight Mann Cup finals in which the Shamrocks lost out in the national Senior A championship.
His seven Mann Cup rings are more than any other individual has won as a Shamrock and a plaque hangs in his honour on the organization’s Wall of Fame at the Q Centre.
“I’m so pleased to see a trainer getting this prestigious recognition,” said Shamrocks general manager Chris Welch. “Jim, like so many other trainers in our sport, was always the first one to arrive for games and practices and the last one to leave. His work was done away from the spotlight and the highlight reels, but was vitally important to our success. I can think of no one who is more deserving of this honour.”
Welch and 10 other members of the organization including Rod Wade, Jason Sperling, Bob Heyes, Webster, Delbert Whynot, Cliff Butt, Mike Simpson, Jeremy Dennett, Gareth Gilson and John Hamilton travelled to New Westminster for the induction ceremonies, along with members of Cain’s family.