It’s not just Bristol’s two professional football clubs mourning the death, at the weekend, of their former physiotherapist Dave Caines as he was a well loved and much respected figure in local football and was still involved with Hallen AFC at the time of his passing.
Back in February 1980 Dave was helping out Portway Bristol on a part time basis as well as undertaking a part time role behind the scenes at Rovers.
He had worked with Harold Jarman when he was manager of Portway and when Harold took over in the hot seat at Rovers he offered Dave the physiotherapist post recently vacated by Wayne Jones who had moved to Shrewsbury Town.
He was first mentioned, by the manager in the club programme, on 23rd February 1980 when Rovers entertained Chelsea at Eastville.
Although only offered the role for the three months until the end of the season, Dave gave up a job in the printing industry to take up his new position at Eastville. 45 years old at the time, he had qualified through the FA medical school and it was stressed, at the time, that his Rovers appointment was a purely medical one.
Speaking of his appointment he said; ‘I played local football for Portway and when I finished, felt I wanted to put something back into the game so I took an interest in the treatment of injuries.
‘It became deeper after going on a course for local club trainers run by Les Bardsley, then Bristol City’s physio. That led to me going to Lilleshall for instruction by experts appointed by the FA and I completed the three year course last summer.’
Dave remained the club’s physio following Harold’s departure, and went on to work under Terry Cooper and Bobby Gould before leaving the club in December 1981.
He was later Bristol City’s physio and a number of their former players, including Brian Tinnion, Chris Honor, Micky Tanner and Scott Murray have all paid tribute to Dave.
Ray Johnston, a former Rovers goalie and now manager of Hallen, and Tony Davis, a former Rovers trainee who also knew Dave from his time at Hallen, were amongst those both shocked and saddened at the news of Dave’s death and the Hallen club statement read; ‘It is with utter devastation and numbness that we report that Dave Caines has passed away. Our wonderful physio and kitman over the years will be missed by all at Hallen AFC.’
The thoughts of all connected with the Bristol Rovers Former Players Association are with Dave’s family and friends at this sad time.