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Saturday, July 18, 2009


He is the undisputed David Beckham of Spanish bullfighting, a daring heart-throb with an adoring female following.

But like many A-list performers at the top of their game, Jose Tomas always faces the risk of a career-ending injury - as these astonishing pictures show.

Tomas, who earns a staggering £400,000 a fight, is Spain's highest-paid matador. But he certainly gave the crowd in Cordoba, in the south of the country, their money's worth this week when a raging, half-ton bull got the better of him in dramatic style.

Caught red-handed: Champion bullfighter Jose Thomas is outwitted by the half-ton bull

Sent flying: The bull smashes into the fighter, tossing him high into the air

Bullseye: Tomas is skewered by the beast for a second time. He can do nothing but lie helplessly on top of the bull

Savaged: Tomas tries to protect himself as he is gored by the raging bull

Eyeing revenge: He is back in the fight

Despite this being his second serious 'cornada', or goring, in under a month,, the battered Tomas somehow managed to get back on his feet and kill the bull.

In recognition of his extraordinary chutzpah, Tomas was rewarded with both ears and the tail of the bull and was later carried out of the ring on a collegue's shoulders - the customary reward for feats of great bravery

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