‘The Pirate’ returns to the bullring

LAST UPDATED: 22 Mar, 2012 @ 23:56
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‘The Pirate’ returns to the bullring

HE is either very brave or very stupid.

Just five months after being horrifically gored in the ring and losing his left eye, Spanish matador Juan Jose Padilla has come back fighting.

Dubbed ‘The Pirate’ – a reference to his eye-patch – Padilla made a remarkable return to the ring this weekend for Olivenza’s annual festival.

The 38-year-old, who said he was returning ‘to win, to triumph and to be a better man,’ was greeted with loud cheers and enthusiastic handclapping from the crowd of 5,400 people.

Despite his impaired vision, meaning he cannot see the bull when it brushes past him on his left side, he succeeded in killing two bulls and was awarded an ear for each.

Padilla was then carried out on the shoulders of his fellow bullfighters, a very different scene from last October when he ran from the ring with his face gushing blood shouting ‘I can’t see.’

“It is like a dream come true, after some very hard months,” Padilla said. “I’m fully aware that nobody thought I would be back.”

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