De Bono, son of Marseille
Anigo, Lopez, Pascal, Flos ... These names thrilled Marseille fans throughout the 1980s. The Minots, as they are called, saved the club from disaster in 1981. Jean-Charles De Bono was part of the Minots and widely contributed to this incredible epic.
Born on 12 August, 1960 in Algiers, Algeria, De Bono spent his childhood in Marseille, a city where his parents decided to settle. He made his first football team at the age of eight in a neighborhood club, Cheminot de la Grande Bastide. A midfielder by training, he made a name for himself at Olympique de Marseille in 1975 and the Provencal club offered him the opportunity to join its Academy. De Bono agreed.
"CHACHA", THE RESERVE TEAM MAINSTAY
Renowned for his defensive qualities and his mastery of the game, "Chacha" was a finalist in the Coupe des France in 1976. Three years later, in 1979, De Bono won the Gambardella Cup, the only one won by OM, with Anigo, Flos, Lévy, Lopez - to name a few. He played in the victory over Lens in the final (2-0).
During the 1979-1980 season, De Bono played with the reserve team and became a mainstay. The first team, 19th in the first division, was relegated to the second division at the end of the season. The following season, OM did not earn promotion. Worse, in April 1981, the club was placed in liquidation and the staff was unemployed. Professional players left the club.
The leaders appointed Roland Gransart to head the team into the last six meetings. The coach-player tapped into the youth teams and used the Minots, winners of the Gambardella two years earlier. Jean-Charles De Bono then has a unique chance to wear the Blue and White jersey at the Vélodrome. He played five games in the last six and "Chacha" was a key figure in the Minot’s epic comeback, managing to finish the season sixth in the second division.
De Bono is a good defensive midfielder and he participates in the club's promotion back into the first division in the 1983-1984 season. But OM strengthened and the Marseille native played only 10 games the following season. In lack of playing time on the Canebière, his adventure with OM ended in 1985 when he joined the Girondins de Bordeaux. But he played very little in Gironde. He left the Bordeaux club after two years and joined Bastia where Roland Gransart coached. De Bono stayed four years in Corsica before returning to his hometown and he ended his career at US Endoume and Cassis in 1997.