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Man who survived bull goring says his days as a 'frustrated matador' are over

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
September 17th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

There comes a time in a man's life when he must put away childish dreams and become a responsible adult. Football referee Cristobal Piņero had always been described as a "frustrated matador." After being thrown and trampled by a bull in his hometown of Monovar, Spain, he says his days of teasing bulls is now past him.

LOS ANGELES. CA (Catholic Online) -  Piņero suffered a fractured shoulder, broken right wrist, two splintered ribs and bruises on his legs in his final tussle with a bull. The 59-year-old Spaniard has vowed never to enter the ring again.

Speaking from his hospital bed, he has revealed how moving his head by just a fraction as the bull bore down on him for a second time "almost certainly" saved his life.

He took time to thank all the brave onlookers who came to his rescue, saying that without the help of those at the Monovar bullring, who distracted the bull so he could be carried out, he probably would not "be here anymore.

"This goring will be the last because I'm not getting in the ring any more and, if I go again to see the bulls in the future it will be to watch it from the side.

"I was very close to death, one of the horns passed just centimeters away from my head when I was on the floor, and now I'm suffering. I don't want to put myself in that situation again."

Piņero retired from professional football when he was just 21, after injuring his knee during a trial match for second division side Real Murcia.

 Piņero was reportedly well known in his youth for spontaneously jumping over the bullring barrier at local bullfights. He says he gave up his wild ways when his children were born in a bid to become more responsible.

"But when, 10 years ago, my children were older I went back to my passion."

 Piņero admits the incident "was all my fault. I took too many risks and was too confident because I didn't think the bull would climb the stairs so quickly.

"I stopped and he threw me powerfully, I got caught, and in that moment I was already regretting getting into that situation.

"I didn't lose consciousness at any moment, and I could see him flying down the stairs and I thought that was the end for me. But it wasn't, thank God."

While many praised his courage, he said: "I'm not brave, I'm just a madman."

The incident, in the south-eastern province of Alicante, came during the town of Monovar's fiestas.

Each afternoon of the festivities sees four young bulls released, one at a time, into the town's bullring for a 20-minute run-around.

"Runners" are encouraged to sprint past the animals and "show their bravado" in the event which is common-place in many towns across the country.

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