The famous French champion Otello passed away on Wednesday 9 February in his residence Les Taillades near Cavaillon in the French department Vaucluse. The real name of Otello was Robert Trovatelli, but he became famous by his nickname Otello, from Shakespeare indeed.
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Photo:Jac Verheul with Otello in The Netherlands in 1984 at the ceremony of the publishing of the Dutch translation of his book Jac Verheul made into Dutch
Otello was a great petanque and provençal player. In his career, that lasted more than fifty years, Otello won an enormous number of tournaments. For instance, he won three times the famous tournament Le Provençal (jeu provençal) in Marseille, in 1951, 1955 and 1958. Otello also was one of the 'Poulidors' of petanque: three times successively, in 1973, 1974 and 1975, he lost in the semi-finals of the French championship for triples.
In 1964, Otello received from the French federation FFPJP the Medaille de la Courtoisie Française, the medal of the French courtesy, because of his qualities as a player, but especially because of his courtesy while playing. Otello was indeed a great player and a real gentleman.
Otello also was a very good didact. In his book Plein Soleil sur la Pétanque from 1970, the first French book on the techniques and tactics of the game of petanque, he reveals the secrets of the game, for beginners and experienced players as well.
Otello also was named the 'Poet of petanque'. He wrote dozens of anecdotes on the game of petanque and provençal. Not only published in Plein Soleil sur la Pétanque, but also in two other books: Les Histoires Humoristiques de la Pétanque, part I and II, comic stories on the game of petanque. For distraction and to introduce a very special and colourful environment: the simple people of the game of boules in the French Provence. An environment in which Otello was born and had grown up.
Otello was 84 years when he died.
Jac Verheul, Dutch translator of Plein Soleil sur la Pétanque
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