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One-eyed matador Padilla scalped by bull last week reveals he will retire at the end of the season 


A one-eyed Spanish matador who was scalped by a raging bull last week during a fight has announced his retirement.

Juan Jose Padilla, the man dubbed ‘Pirate Master’, ‘El Pirata’ and ‘teacher’ by his legions of fans, today returned to the ring in Pamplona for one of his final bullfights, ahead of his retirement at the end of the season.

The festival, locally known as Sanfermines, is held annually from July 6 to 14 in commemoration of the city’s patron saint.

Spanish matador Juan Jose Padilla performs a pass to a Jandilla fighting bull during a bullfight of the Sanfermines festival in Pamplona, northern Spain on July 13

Spanish matador Juan Jose Padilla performs a pass to a Jandilla fighting bull during a bullfight of the Sanfermines festival in Pamplona, northern Spain on July 13

Bullfighter Juan Jose Padilla poses during his farewell tribute at a hotel in Pamplona. His still-stitched head is clearly visible in this photo, after he was scalped by a bull

Bullfighter Juan Jose Padilla poses during his farewell tribute at a hotel in Pamplona. His still-stitched head is clearly visible in this photo, after he was scalped by a bull

Juan Jose Padilla reacts after fighting his first bull during the bullfight. He will be retiring at the end of the season

Juan Jose Padilla reacts after fighting his first bull during the bullfight. He will be retiring at the end of the season

The 45-year-old attended the event while recovering from a gruesome injury inflicted upon him in Arévalo in northern Spain, when half of his scalp was left hanging off in front of a crowd.

Padilla was taunting the bull when he lost his footing and it charged at him, knocking him to the ground before striking him several times. 

The animal caught his head with its horns as he lay on the ground.

Spanish matador Juan Jose Padilla performs a pass to a Jandilla fighting bull during a bullfight of the festival in Pamplona, northern Spain

Spanish matador Juan Jose Padilla performs a pass to a Jandilla fighting bull during a bullfight of the festival in Pamplona, northern Spain

Despite having little time to heal - about a week - Padilla today appeared to shrug off his horrific injuries to take part once more in his beloved sport

Despite having little time to heal – about a week – Padilla today appeared to shrug off his horrific injuries to take part once more in his beloved sport

With a thin black buccaneer scarf protecting his still-stitched scalp, he returned to the bullring to farewell fans in Pamplona

With a thin black buccaneer scarf protecting his still-stitched scalp, he returned to the bullring to farewell fans in Pamplona

He was rushed to hospital in Avila where doctors ruled out any brain damage.

But, despite having little time to heal – about a week – Padilla today appeared to shrug off his horrific injuries to take part once more in his beloved sport.

With a thin black buccaneer scarf protecting his still-stitched scalp, he returned to the bullring to farewell fans in Pamplona, to begin closing the bullfighting chapter of his life.

Throwing kisses to the audience, he fought his last bull in Pamplona, ‘Juicy’. 

Wearing a black buccaneer scarf, Padilla threw kisses to the audience.

‘Padilla stay, Padilla stay, Padilla stay,’ the fans chanted, according to a glowing report in El Mundo.

Spanish matador Juan Jose Padilla stabs a Jandilla fighting bull in Pamplona

Spanish matador Juan Jose Padilla stabs a Jandilla fighting bull in Pamplona

News of Padilla's impending retirement from the ring has prompted an outpouring from his many fans following today's fight in Pamplona

News of Padilla’s impending retirement from the ring has prompted an outpouring from his many fans following today’s fight in Pamplona

Padilla wears an eye patch after he was gored in 2011

Padilla wears an eye patch after he was gored in 2011

Padilla, who wears an eye patch after he was gored in 2011, poignantly posted on his Facebook page today: ‘For the warrior of life every obstacle is another step towards the top.’

News of his impending retirement from the ring has prompted an outpouring from his many fans following today’s fight in Pamplona.

One said: ‘There is no better farewell than this. Congratulations Padilla and thank you very much for all you have given to the party, pirate. We will miss you. Brave bullfighter.’

Spanish bullfighter Juan Jose Padilla performs a pass during a bullfight at the San Fermin festival in Pamplona

Spanish bullfighter Juan Jose Padilla performs a pass during a bullfight at the San Fermin festival in Pamplona

Juan Jose Padilla, the man dubbed ¿Pirate Master¿, 'El Pirata' and ¿teacher¿ by his legions of fans

Juan Jose Padilla, the man dubbed ‘Pirate Master’, ‘El Pirata’ and ‘teacher’ by his legions of fans

Close call: One fan said afterwards: 'You are an example of humanity, courage and a good person'

Close call: One fan said afterwards: ‘You are an example of humanity, courage and a good person’

Another posted: ‘You deserve to say goodbye to Pamplona, triumphing as you did today. Blood, sweat and courage are some of your signs of identity.’

And one fan added: ‘You deserve everything, we love you… you are an example of humanity, courage and a good person without forgetting [a] great bullfighter, and a teacher for those who learn from you.’

Spanish matador Juan Jose Padilla fighting a bull  in Pamplona, northern Spain

Spanish matador Juan Jose Padilla fighting a bull in Pamplona, northern Spain

Spanish matador Juan Jose Padilla acknowledges applause during a bullfight of the San Fermin festival in Pamplona, Spain

Spanish matador Juan Jose Padilla acknowledges applause during a bullfight of the San Fermin festival in Pamplona, Spain

 



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