Monday, August 31, 2009

Back in business

Do you remember when Frank Evans, the only British matador to enter the ring, retired from bullfighting in 2005? They cut off his ponytail after his last bull in the ring at Benalmadena. Everyone thought that that was it; “El Ingles” had exchanged his traje de luz for something more comfortable.

image Mr Evans, who used to practise his sword thrusts in the park on a supermarket trolley full of hay, was forced to retire on doctor’s orders in 2005 after having a knee operation for an old rugby injury. But his passion for the bullring never died.

Last night Frank pulled off a remarkable sporting comeback when he returned to the ring as a professional four years after supposedly hanging up his cape for good.

At 67, Frank, who is possibly the oldest matador alive, killed two 500lb (227kg) bulls with ease, despite his prosthetic knee and quadruple heart bypass. When he plunged the espada, into the bulls’ backs there was rapturous applause from the crowd of several hundred Spanish aficionados and curious tourists. To their cries of “olé!” he proved that he was better suited to battling the bulls than picking up his bus pass.

Apart from the fact that I would never fit into one of those suits, there is no way I would ever set foot into a ring with a live bull. I admire toreros a lot but I do think they are mad for risking their lives in the way they do.

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