Tributes keep pouring in for Rolf Bartolo from different quarters in Trinidad and Tobago. On Sunday morning the owner/trainer/breeder passed away quietly at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital after a short battle with cancer.
The Horse racing fraternity to which Bartolo has belonged for decades is paying tribute to him. Yesterday, the Arima Race Club President, Robert Bernard sang praises for Bartolo. He stated "Rolf was a man of impeccable integrity. He was indeed an extremely nice guy. He worked on the Arima Race Club Management committee for the past two years and he shared his knowledge and articulated his position easily. I can say without a doubt that he had no bias. Indeed he was a true gentleman. What marks Bartolo as a man of integrity is the fact that no one in the racing fraternity has and will say anything negative about him.'
The last conversation I had with Bartolo was after he came out of the St Clair Nursing Home before his relapse. He told me then that he was about to be discharged. Then I got the news of his passing on Sunday morning. He will be missed."
Bartolo, 74, was an accomplished teacher, cyclist, footballer, coach and trainer. He will be remembered for being a goalkeeper and coach of the legendary Maple Football Club. He won many accolades with Maple and the President of the Northern Football Association (NFA) - On Monday, Anthony Harford, sent a tribute to Rolf Bartolo from the Northern Football Association.
"The Executive and Members of the Northern Football Association today mourn the passing of stalwart and dependable member Rolf Bartolo. Bartolo passed on in the wee hours on Sunday morning. Bartolo was a member of the Maple Club for more than 40 years of its 102-year existence and was an efficient goalkeeper, but made his name mentoring and coaching a cadre of young players including standout Reynold George and Dexter Skeene to the North Zone title in 1991. Maple under Bartolo competed in the National League in 1992. He continued his coaching and management of the club until 2017 when he again took the club to North Zone honours, Maple going on that year to qualify for the National Super League. The club denied participation.
Rolf Bartolo also coached the North Zonal Team in the Annual Interzone Competition for several years. He was also the driving force in organising the Annual Maple versus Malvern Old Boys Game.
"He Finally left football to concentrate more fully on his work as a racehorse trainer in 2017 and by 2018 received an award from the Arima Race Club (ARC) as the country's most Improved trainer, a vote taken by his peers.
The NFA sends condolences to Mr Bartolo's Family."