24 Jul, 2011 @ 18:40
1 min read

David Beckham of Bullfighting makes triumphant (and lucrative) return in Valencia

JUST over a year ago Jose Tomas was lying on a life support machine in Mexico facing a 50/50 chance of death.

But this weekend, after a dramatic return, he became – once again – the world’s best paid bullfighter with a welcome return in Valencia.

Madrid-born Tomas, 35, had lost nearly half his blood when a 500 kilo bull pierced a major artery in his leg in Aguascalientas in April 2010.

But yesterday he bravely fought two bulls… making an estimated 400,000 euros in the process.

He even got tossed by one of the two bulls, the 556 kilo Sweet Tooth, but immediately got up to dispatch the beast.

The world’s most sought after bullfighter has now announced he is to fight on eight occasions this season, earning a minimum 300,000 euros per fight.

He will only fight twice in Andalucia – in Huelva on August 3 and Linares on August 29 – and will finish his run with a triumphant return to Barcelona in September, in what could be one of the last ever fights in Catalonia.

He has spent much of the last year recuperating in Estepona, where he has a girlfriend.

According to local sources, he is often seen running up and down the promenade and cycles an average of 40kms a day.

The doctor Jose Gonzalez, who carried out the lifesaving operation in Mexico and oversaw his recovery explained: “It was a day-by-day case of sacrifice and determination, but he had his mind set on returning to the ring as soon as the injury allowed him.”

It is not for nothing that he is often now dubbed the ‘saviour of bullfighting’ leaving rings sold out for almost all his fights and bringing each city an estimated 1.5m euros in commerce.

It is said he could easily fill the 90,000 seats of Real Madrid’s stadium The Bernabeu.

One bullfight enthusiast Jeffrey Pearce told the Olive Press: “He puts his life on the line in every one of his fights. He literally gets nearer to the bull than any other fighter and that bravery is incredible.”

The French boss of the Valencia ring added: “I don’t remember so much expectation in 30 years of bullfighting.
“For the past 10 years, Jose Tomas has been the landmark figure in today’s bullfighting. He’s a legend.”

Jon Clarke (Publisher & Editor)

Jon Clarke is a Londoner who worked at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday as an investigative journalist before moving permanently to Spain in 2003 where he helped set up the Olive Press. He is the author of three books; Costa Killer, Dining Secrets of Andalucia and My Search for Madeleine.

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  1. “HE BRAVELY FOUGHT TWO BULLS”……There is nothing “BRAVE” about these people. Bullfighters are rarely injured and seldom killed in the ring. With their armory of weapons to weaken the bull until it can no longer fight, their lives are not at great risk. In fact, in the last 50 years only 10 bullfighters have been killed worldwide.

    Bullfighting is not a fight at all. It’s a systematic torture killing, that pits a gang of armed thugs against a lone, frightened, and wounded animal.

    It is high time this barbaric charade is stopped for ever!!!

  2. I can’t believe that Spain is still involved with this barbaric torture. How anyone can consider watching a terrified bull being slowly killed and bled to death, whilst the crowd screams and shouts, as entertainment, is just not logical.
    As for King Juan Carlos, who said that “the day the EU bans bullfighting is the day Spain leaves the EU”, go on EU, ban it! Spain is a drain on the EU’s finances anyway and as part of the PIIGS countries, is getting the EU deeper and deeper into debt. Lt Spain leave the EU. Tear down the bullrings, and I hope that the next time Jose Tomas gets horned by the bull, the bull does a better job of it. There is nothing brave about what he does.

  3. Brave…. Surely you gest!!! There’s nothing BRAVE about torturing & being responsible for a magnificents animals slow DEATH. SHAME ON YOU!!! You would have though that you learned your lesson!!! I hope the next time, the Bull WINS even though he will be killed anyway… you are a Devil!!!

  4. I strongly recommend Mrs Anderson and Mr Townsend to document themselves, try to read and understand and to respect bullfighting.
    If bullfighting stops the immediate consequence will be the extintintiction of the “brave” toros as it is only thanks to the bullfighting spectacle that this race of bulls is maintained.
    Of course in view of your comments you have not understanding at all of arts (including Goya and Picasso), literature (including Federico Garcia Lorca) or economy in view of your comments to the PIIGS..
    I have a great respect to the UK and thanks God I know that British people is in general great ….nor the hoolingangs you sent us to Majorca and the Canary Islands every summer or the illiterates that critize bullfigthign without knowing anything about background of this ART.

  5. Juan, firstly I am not illiterate & secondly I am not British. I am a qualified veterinary nurse working for an animal welfare organisation & anyone in animal welfare will tell you that bullfighting is cruel. Do you not think the bulls suffer as they are repeatedly stabbed & bleed? Do you not think they are terrified by the screaming & noise of the crowd? Perhaps we could stab you with banderillos & let u bleed & weaken whilst being tormented by people, noise, muletas, etc. How would that make you feel? And you cannot compare a true work of art, like a painting or the Sagrada Familia of Gaudi to the barbaric murder of an animal for the entertainment of people. The Jewish, Muslim & Buddhist religions frown on the killing of animals & causing of unnecessary suffering for the purposes of entertainment. The worth of a nation is judged on how it treats its animals, & Albert Schweizer said “A man’s religion is worth nothing if seemingly insignificant animals don’t benefit from it”. In Spain you have many religious festivals where innocent animals suffer (eg throwing of live goats from Church towers)! As for that breed of bull, if they are only bred so that they can suffer & die in a barbaric way, then it would be better that they were not bred at all.

  6. For your information Snr Juan, I am certainly not “illiterate” I have read and understand bullfighting, however I will NEVER respect it. I have lived in Spain and chose to do so for their warmth and some of the traditions that you have upheld.
    If bullfighting ceased tomorrow, and the consequences are no more fighting bulls are bred…GOOD!!!
    You also should not make assumptions about my understandings of the “REAL ARTS” in Pablo Picasso, Francisco Goya and poets and playwrights such as Federico García Lorca. I indeed underastand that these people had considered bullfighting to be an essential part of Spanish culture. As did writer Ernest Hemingway and Orson Welles.
    You also mention PIIGS. In my opinion the biggest pigs are the sick individuals that pay to watch an innocent animal tortured and bleed to death.
    On your final totally unrelated comments on English hooligans. We did not send them, they came on there own accord,and most English people would be happy for you to bang them up in jail for a very long time. I live in Conil de la frontera. In the Summer, there is drunkeness,urinating in the street, fighting,drug-pushing, inconsiderate and unexceptable noise levels, and guess what Snr Juan?…..Not an English man in sight,99% your fellow countrymen!!
    I will sign of with a quote from a publisher of a bullfighting magazine which claims to express the philosophy of the people who patronize the “industry”. He says “the bull, in the sexual connotation, takes on the feminine form and the man vanquishes the female by raping and plunging when the matador vanquishes the bull, he has taken the bull’s virginity from it and has dominated the animal.”


  8. jeeeeeze folks – Bullfighting is a tradition and traditions take a long long time to change and rightly so, even if you don’t like it ! Respect and accept it >>> if you can’t move to Somalia and see if you can help those poor people that are dying of hunger before you get all upset about a Bull who after a good and dignant live meets his fate in a Corrida

  9. The most senseless and cheapest displays of human cruelty, selfishness and irresponsibility are those cases in which society, the government and the church approve of cruel entertainment involving animals, often under the pretext of “defending tradition”, without recognising that tradition, like most things, can be good or bad, sublime or despicable. Holding gladiatoral combats to entertain the public, throwing young women into volcanoes to appease the gods and burning heretics or witches are no longer acceptable traditions although they certainly were once. Of the disgusting “traditions” still in existence the bullfight is the worst.
    You obviously think as it is “only a bull” it deserves to be dragged into a ring in order to entertain blood thirsty morons, who have nothing better to do with their money. Maybe this would be better spent on the starving in Somalia perhaps???
    As mentioned before. I will neither accept nor respect this “industry” and will campaign against it until the rest of Spain sees sense, and follows the same path as the Catalan people.
    As regards these poor children in Somalia. That has nothing whatsoever to do with this news thread, and is a totally different debate of which I feel equally annoyed and upset about.

  10. We can only imagine that a sword going through the flesh “feels” the same to a bull as it does to us. What if it doesn’t? What if there are no sensations whatsoever, what if it is a simple, yet bloody end to a bovine life? Seems as humane as cracking them in the back of the head with a sledge hammer and gringing them up into MacDonalds.

  11. Firstly, my reply to James. Scientific research has proven that animals are sentient beings, and that they feel pain and suffer in the same way that we do. Even cold-blooded animals, like fish and reptiles, feel pain, and this has been proven. I am a veterinary nurse and I have injected many species of animals – and I can tell you that they all flinch when the needle penetrates their flesh. So don’t assume that animals do not feel pain.

    As for David, I am shocked and horrified that you can say something so inhumane and callous. How can you find suffering amusing???? I hope that one day you have to suffer intolerable pain and that you remember your comment. There IS such a thing as Divine justice, and God will see to it that people who feel nothing for His creatures, over which he gave us dominion, are punished so that they can see the error of their ways. And I hope that whilst you are suffering that pain, there is somebody there (hopefully me) who can laugh at you and think it is funny. I am ashamed to be a human being when fellow human beings can say and think things like this.

  12. Vanessa:

    I can certainly understand your viewpoint, but you need to keep your head if you are to engage in defense of your position. Wishing suffering and ill-luck on another person (no matter how opposed you are to their stance) is a very very bad idea. Wishing bad luck on someone else has a bad habit of boomeranging on the ill-wisher. Also “fundie” style hell-raising preaching will not help your position (which I understand) either. I mean what I say kindly.

  13. Hi Patricia
    Thanks for your comments. I agree with your viewpoint, but I must say that in my line of work (animal welfare), I see too many cases of human cruelty to animals, involving abuse, sexual abuse, torture, suffering, neglect, abandonment, senseless violence, etc. Unfortunately, seeing these things makes me despair at the human race, supposedly the most intelligent race on this planet. When witnessing such awful suffering of animals at the hands of a human, in whom that animal had trust and to whom that animal showed loyalty, one does wish that that person could experience the pain that they are inflicting on that animal. There comes a time when one no longer has faith in the human race in general, and when one is powerless to do anything in many cases of animal abuse or suffering, the only thing one can hope is that there is a Divine justice. (We have in fact witnessed cases where people who have done terrible things to their own pets have been killed in freak accidents or had untimely deaths befall them, and anybody who has dealt with the case pertaining to that individual will say, “It couldn’t happen to a nicer person!”)
    If you speak to anyone who has had to deal with the things one unfortunately has to deal with when working in animal welfare, I can guarantee that most of those people will say that the world would be better off without humans, and would probably wish horrible things on the person inflicting that suffering.
    We are supposed to value human life and human rights, but when we see the things that humans do not only to animals, but also to each other, with no respect for the human rights of others, then I believe that person forfeits their own rights. I will never understand the ability of some people to intentionally inflict pain and suffering on other living creatures, human or animal, and when somebody actually finds that pain and suffering amusing or entertaining, then I am afraid I have no compassion for that “person” whatsoever.

  14. If we are going to stop killing cattle and sheep we will have to stop eating meat. Killing them is always cruel and they are always frightened when faced with death, whether it is in the abattoir or in the bullring. In my opinion it is not the suffering of the bull that the crowd enjoys it is the skill of the bullfighter, whom is seldom killed but often maimed, so yes, it does require a measure of bravery.

  15. Senores y Senoras:

    We all at one time or another must come to grips with our mortality. Know one is to dictate that one may die cruelly or one may die peacefully, as much as one would like to control fate.

    I for one, If i were a bull, would jump at the option to die an “Honorable” death, even if the odds are stacked against me, because after all, the odds are stacked against us all, and what we have is but a moment to share. An that is what the bullfight represents.

    These animals are treated honorably in my opinion. I might even argue that those who criticize bullfighting are in effect dishonoring the very nature of these animals and what they are bred to do. You might as well be against dog breeding, after all, in-breeding of dogs causes innumerable suffering and high rates of cancer in many breeds as I’m sure any Vet can attest too. We could be against use of lab rats, but you see its pointless, because in the end we all have our moment. I don’t know how many of us will share it with as many as a toro de lidia.


  16. Spearing an animal and letting it bleed to death whilst suffering terrible pain is honorable? Please Alejandro, talk sense. We just need to stop killing animals, period. Killing creatues for profit and ‘sport’ diminishes mankind.

  17. The Spanish should have been made to deconstruct all their bullrings before they were ever considered for entry into the EC along with a lot of other changes.

    Juan Espanol – you Spanish were given shedloads of money from northern Europe – you morons squandered it on ego trips (just as you have always done) now you want us to bail you out for €300 billion – don’t you go telling me what we do and do not understand.

    What culture are you talking about – Euskadi, Celtic/Catalan/Arab/Jewish/Moreno?

    No it’s Latin brought to Spain by the Roman scum and wake up to the fact that you are not Latins at all – now what culture are you rambling on about?

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