herald

Wednesday 15 August 2018

Blinded bullfighter gets back in the ring

A SPANISH bullfighter who lost the sight in one eye after a horrific goring returned to the bullring just five months after his injury.

On October 8, a bull's horn ripped into Juan Jose Padilla's lower jaw and caused his left eyeball to protrude as spectators screamed in horror.

Padilla was seen getting up shouting: "I can't see, I can't see anything" his face gushing blood as assistants distracted the bull.

Yesterday, wearing an eye patch and with a partial facial paralysis, Padilla (38) fulfilled what he describes as an unquenchable desire to once again face massive 1,100lb fighting bulls with the aid of only a cape and sword.

Padilla, the star attraction at the south-western town of Olivenza's annual bull festival, said he was returning to the ring "to win, to triumph, to be a better man".

A capacity crowd of about 5,400 people, including die-hard connoisseurs, fashion models and celebrities, packed the historic bullring.

The matador, who is also known by his professional name of "the Cyclone of Jerez", wore a glittering matador's "suit of lights" outfit that had been made for the occasion in gold braid and olive green, "for hope", according to his tailor, Justo Algaba.

After killing his final bull, Padilla was carried out of the ring among jubilant crowd scenes on the shoulders of fellow bullfighters who had shared the billing with him.

hnews@herald.ie

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