Mario Bortolotto (SPC 1972-75)
October 10, 2022
Dual Carlton premiership player and Old Collegian Mario Bortolotto (SPC 1972-75) sadly passed away on 9 September 2022 at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne after a short illness with his family by his side, aged 65 years.
We extend our deepest sympathy to Mario’s extended family, including his wife Birgit and children Steffanie, Isabella and Marcellino.
Mario’s funeral was held at St Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church in West Melbourne on 23 September.
Mario began his studies at St Patrick’s in Form 3 in 1972 and completed his Form 6 studies in 1975. Mario was a boarder from Kerang and made a splash in the sporting circles in his first year as part of the rowing, athletics, Second XVIII Football team and was also on the basketball team where he won the award for the most improved and was described as a strong rebounder who has “great strength and is very keen to learn”.
Mario was a member of the school’s undefeated premiership First XVIII Football team in the Ballarat Public Schools (BPS) competition in both 1974 and 1975. Referring to his emerging footballing talents even at this young age, Mario was described as a ruck rover who “teamed well and attacked with spectacular long kicks”.
He was the vice captain of the First XVIII in his final year and again was referred to as “an inspiring high mark and long kick, strong and mobile, with the ability to lift the team; co-operated unselfishly with other forwards”.
He was awarded the runner-up prize in the First XVIII Football sporting list of honours in 1975 behind fellow classmate Brian Brown.
Mario went on to become a formidable defender for Carlton whose 30 games included the David Parkin-coached back-to-back premierships of 1981 and 1982.
Mario was recruited to Carlton after 14 senior appearances for Geelong through 1979 and 1980.
His three seasons at Princes Park brought him a lifetime of memories shared with some of the greatest players of his or any other era. Such was Bortolotto’s popularity amongst his contemporaries at Carlton that in 1982 he was also declared Best Clubman.
Mario was the 887th footballer to represent Carlton at senior level in League competition.
He was awarded a life membership of the club in 2003 and was made a Legend of SPC in 2004.
In a wonderful mark of respect to this former great, Carlton’s AFLW players wore black armbands into their recent Round 3 match with Port Adelaide at IKON Park.
To read more about Mario’s highlights with the Blues, you can read this wonderful tribute on the Carlton FC website or by clicking on this link here
Rest in peace Mario.