Juan José Padilla
May 23, 1973 |
Jerez de la Frontera, Spain
|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|
|• 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. 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.
On October 7, 2011 he was gored by a bull in Zaragoza, 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.
Five months later in March 2012, he returned to the bullring with an eyepatch - gaining the nickname 'The Pirate' – in Olivenza. 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."
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
- Entry for 'Juan José Padilla Archived 2012-10-08 at the Wayback Machine.', Portal Taurino, Online Bullfighting Encyclopedia (Spanish)
- Fiske-Harrison, Alexander. Into The Arena: The World Of The Spanish Bullfight, Profile Books, 25 May 2011
- Moran, Lee, 'Matador cheats death...', Daily Mail, 8 October 2011
- Fiske-Harrison, Alexander. Juan José Padilla, matador, friend, my Spanish brother, The Last Arena blog.
- 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.
- Fiske-Harrison, Alexander. 'The Last Matador', British GQ magazine, Condé Nast, September issue, 2012