Great players: Bruno Bertolin

Bruno Bertolin was one of many Italian immigrants in the years after the second world war to come to Canada and to settle in Toronto. He excelled in many sports but made his mark playing soccer for Toronto Italia. His positition was as a winger, both on the right and left wing. 5 foot and 4 1/2 inches and weighing 145 pounds. Bruno was often known as Scooter.

Bruno came to Canada on Christmas Day in 1949 when he was ten years old. In Toronto he played high school hockey and football. In 1959 he started making his mark with the Toronto Italia team in the National Soccer League.

On Wednesday August 2, 1959, Bruno scored two goals in Italia’s 3-1 win over Hamilton. On Wednesday September 14 he again scored two goals in a 5-0 win over Montreal Cantalia. Italia finished second in the league table, one point behind Montreal Cantalia. Italia won the NSL championship playoff finals by beating Cantalia.

Toronto Italia won both the NSL league championship and the playoff finals in the 1960 season. Bruno was at this time also a student at the University of Toronto.

In 1961 Toronto Italia joined the newly-formed Eastern Canada Professional Soccer League. During the league season he scored 11 goals. He helped Italia reach the President’s Cup final, symbolic of the league championship playoff finals. Italia lost the finals to Montreal Cantalia.

After the 1961 season he was widely reported to be returning to Italy to study the one subject he had failed at the University of Toronto. The subject was the Italian language.

Bruno returned to Toronto Italia for the 1962 season. Despite a disappointing third place finish in the league, Italia won the President’s Cup. In a game against Toronto Roma in August Bruno scored all three goals in a 3-2 win.

In 1963 he again starred for Toronto Italia. Italia won both the Eastern Canada Professional League championship and the President’s Cup. Bruno scored six goals during the league season.

In 1965 Bruno played for Abruzzi in the National Soccer League. In 1969 he returned to his old love Toronto Italia when they made a comeback in the National Soccer League. Then followed a spell with Toronto Hungaria.

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