Carl Caskey (Stephen Rahman-Hughes) 2005

First Regular Appearance: 8.23 (#347) The Sting  Sunday 27th March 2005

Last Regular Appearance: 8.32 (#356) Play Off  Sunday 29th May 2005

Duration: EP: 347 - 356 ½ SE: 8.23 – 8.32

Squad Number/Position: #15 (Midfielder) (2005)

Last Seen: Boarding the team coach at the Millennium Stadium following the Play Off win. Killed in the subsequent explosion.

 

Caskey began his career in Harchester United's youth team at Addison Road. It was there in 1989 he met fellow apprentice Karl Fletcher, and the pair were a double-act as “the two C/Karl’s” in the academy during their late teens. Although Caskey was a good player (an England hopeful later at his peak), he couldn’t progress naturally into the first team at HUFC, a factor being his team mates were young and carefree enough to focus only on their football, while Carl had the responsibility of a wife and child to support. By 1992 Fletch had gained his first team contract and Caskey knew if he was to achieve himself it had to be somewhere else. Over the next ten years, he and Fletch drifted out of each other's lives, with Carl at Charlton Athletic and married for a second time to Nicole, an American-born model.

 

In the 2002-03 season, Caskey suffers a serious injury which threatens his career and keeps him off the pitch for the next two years. Now 34 years old, Charlton tell Caskey they do not plan to give him a new contract, which is the last thing his family needs as they currently face deep financial woes. The answer to their problems seems to come when Fletch visits unexpectedly, saying he might be able to get Caskey a trial at Harchester. Caskey thinks his old mate is doing him a great favour, but the real plan, between Fletch, Dean Boyle and agent Joel Brookes, is to entrap manager Don Barker for bribery.

 

Fletch doesn’t want Caskey to get hurt in any of this, but that may be out of his hands when the Caskey’s meet Barker, and he is immediately taken with Nicole. Barker arranges a meeting with Nicole in which she lets slip how grateful she is Fletch came to them, which Barker has no knowledge about. Barker says he will be able to help Carl, providing Nicole does “a little something” for him - which Nicole is appalled at. Don gives Caskey a place in the reserve team match against Ipswich, but warns Nicole if she doesn’t sleep with him Carl won’t ever play for the team. To make matters worse, the Caskey’s lose their home to bailiffs which leaves Nicole feeling she has little choice, as Carl would not only be playing but they’d have desperately needed money. When Caskey discovers what Barker has done, he beats him up and is arrested, but Don himself is finished at the club when the team view an incriminating tape of his threats to Nicole.

 

Carl’s drinking gets out of control following his separation from Nicole, and jeopardises his still-new position at the club. When Viv Wright’s plan to sort Caskey’s head out results in a disastrous matchmaking debacle, Carl’s daughter Savannah is that distressed she goes off with Ryan Naysmith without telling anyone. Caskey believes Ryan has taken advantage of his daughter, and kicks his still-heeling broken leg. Ryan explains to Carl that he really cares for Savannah and wants to make things work with her, which Carl sees that his daughter feels the same. With he and Nicole working their way back together, Carl is one of the few on the team to stand by Fletch when he is framed by Don for poisoning girlfriend Gina. Also at this time, Carl is granted a start for Harchester’s Play Off final in Cardiff.

 

Fletch is released the day before the game, though Caskey doesn’t live to learn that his best mate is killed by Barker. For following Harchester’s 1-0 win against West Ham, Don is caught by the police and drives his car into the team coach, causing a massive explosion that kills all on board, including Caskey.