Juan José Padilla

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Juan José Padilla
Matador Juan Jose Padilla by Alexander Fiske-Harrison.jpg
Personal information
Born (1973-05-23) May 23, 1973 (age 44)
Jerez de la Frontera, Spain
Sport Bullfighting
Rank Matador
Bullfighting career
School Jerez de la Frontera
Alternativa 18 July 1994 
 • Place Jerez de la Frontera
 • Godfather Pedro Castillo
 • Witness Niño de la Taurina
Confirmación 4 November 2001 
 • Place Mexico
 • Godfather Manolo Mejía
 • Witness El Zapata

Juan José Padilla is a Spanish torero ('bullfighter'). He became a matador de toros, 'killer of (full-grown) bulls', in the town of his birth, Jerez de la Frontera, on June 18, 1994 when he was 21 years old.[1] He was known as the 'Cyclops of Jerez' and featured heavily, both personally and professionally, in Into The Arena: The World Of The Spanish Bullfight, a shortlisted nominee for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year in 2011.[2]

On October 7, 2011 he was gored by a bull in Zaragoza,[3] almost dying from his injuries. From a single horn wound through his skull, he suffered multiple fractures to both jaw and skull, facial paralysis, loss of hearing in his right ear and of sight in his left eye.[4]

Five months later in March 2012, he returned to the bullring with an eyepatch - gaining the nickname 'The Pirate' – in Olivenza.[5] The author of Into The Arena, Alexander Fiske-Harrison, who had trained as a torero with Padilla and was now a personal friend, accompanied him for British GQ magazine and ended by describing the result of that day's triumphant return: "it is Padilla alone who is swept up to tour the ring on the shoulders of the crowd. Then I see that it is not the crowd, but other bullfighters. An entire profession is holding him up so that an entire nation can applaud him. That night Padilla is on every news channel; come the morning he will be on the front page of every newspaper. When I meet him at the hotel afterwards, he has tears in his eye."[6]

He has continued to fight throughout the season with a hero's welcome - and triumphs - in both major bull-rings and minor ones, including Valencia, Seville, Bilbao, Pamplona, La Línea de la Concepción, and the town where he grew up, Jerez de la Frontera, and the town he now lives in, neighbouring Sanlúcar de Barrameda. On March 12, 2017 he was gored again. https://www.thelocal.es/20170314/disaster-prone-one-eyed-matador-juan-jose-padilla-is-gored-again

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Entry for 'Juan José Padilla Archived 2012-10-08 at the Wayback Machine.', Portal Taurino, Online Bullfighting Encyclopedia (Spanish)
  2. ^ Fiske-Harrison, Alexander. Into The Arena: The World Of The Spanish Bullfight, Profile Books, 25 May 2011
  3. ^ Moran, Lee, 'Matador cheats death...', Daily Mail, 8 October 2011
  4. ^ Fiske-Harrison, Alexander. Juan José Padilla, matador, friend, my Spanish brother, The Last Arena blog.
  5. ^ Moran, Lee (March 5, 2012). "'The Pirate' bullfighter makes 'triumphant' return to ring five months after horrific goring left him blind in one eye". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 2012-09-07. 
  6. ^ Fiske-Harrison, Alexander. 'The Last Matador', British GQ magazine, Condé Nast, September issue, 2012