GARY LOCKE has paid tribute to long-serving former Hearts physio Alan Rae for helping him through his injury troubles as well as teaching him how to handle himself as a young professional footballer trying to make his way in the game, writes ANTHONY BROWN.
Rae was a highly-regarded physio at Tynecastle for 23 years and during that spell Locke emerged as a promising youngster in the early 90s and went on to captain the club before injury took hold.
The current Hearts first-team coach, speaking at the launch of Rae’s book, Hands on Hearts, was eternally grateful for everything the much-loved physio did for him, even going as far as to describe him as “a second dad”.
“I spent too much time with Alan in my career but he’s a great man and a great physio and he’s one of the main reasons I managed to get back playing after my injury in the 1996 Scottish Cup final,” said Locke.
“That was a low moment in my career but Alan was there to keep my head up and I’ve got a lot to thank him for.
“The calibre of people who have turned out for his book launch speaks volumes about how highly regarded he is as a physio and as a man. I was on the groundstaff when I first came here and he was like a second dad to myself and the rest of the young boys. Alan and Sandy Clark were really good at putting us in the direction as young kids.
“We didn’t have the Academy and the facilities that we’ve got now.
“My rehab was done in an old wooden gym that’s now the players’ lounge. It was soul-destroying but Alan was great at picking me up when I was down or kicking me up the backside when I needed it. I’m really thankful for everything he did for me. He’s just a great man.”
n Hands on Hearts: A Physio’s Tale by Alan Rae with Paul Kiddie, is published by Luath Press priced £14.99.