Anecdotes on the Death of Manolete
I Manolete was born in Cordoba July 4, 1917 and died from wounds inflicted by the Miura #21 “Islero” in
Linares Aug. 28, 1947, he spoke his last words at 5:07am July 29th. According to Surgeon Gime'nez Guinea
Manolete's last words were “My mother is going to be so disappointed, Don Luis, I can see, I can't see any-
I In the marvelous book by Fernando del Arco “Manuel Rodri'guz Manolete A los 50 Años de su
Muerte y a los 80 de su Nacimiento” his last words were “Que primo he sido!” There is still discussion as to what was meant by those words,
did he mean “what a bonus death is, or did he mean “what premium my life has been?” We will never know, as a person approaches deaths' door,
no telling what delirious words may come.
I Arco*-Page 186
Las Ventas July 16, 1947 in the Corrida de Beneficencia toreano with Gitanillo de Triana & Pepin Martin Vasquez toros de Bohorguez 525 Kilos
while Manolete was executing naturals the bull gave him a cornada in the left leg, they took the 2 ears to him on the enfermeria.
There while contemplating the image of the Virgin in one of the azulejos (tiles) Manolete sadly said to “Chavito” the editor of the newspaper “El
Alca'zar” “Blood and fire until I am gone” and after a significant pause, added. 'Not so bad I will soon be departed.”
I Arco-Page 86
In Linares Aug. 1944 Manolete's driver struck a young lady while entering the city for a corrida, she was not seriously hurt but Manolete demand-
ed the driver go to the hospital to check on her condition. After the corrida the empresario took Manolete to the Hospital de Los Marqueses.The
Empreasrio introduced the diestro to the head of the little hospital and Manolete commented: “This hospital is so pretty & clean, you take such
careful care of it, makes me want to stay here and get sick.” Ironically this is exactly where Manolete died on Aug 29, 1947 at 5:07 am.
I Arco-Page 88
Aug. 16, 1947 on Radio National de España half way into the corrida in Santander, they handed the microphone to Manolete who simply said :”Me
piden ma's de lo que puedo dar. Solo digo una cosa:que tengo muchas gans de que llegue Octubre……..”
“They ask more of me than I can give, I am eager to see October come.”
But October didn't come for Manolete, 13 days later he was dead in Linares.
I A priest in Linares on Aug. 28, 1947 upon hearing of Manolete's wounds from Islero rushed to the hospital to pray for his soul, whereupon he
stayed until the early morning when informed Manolete has passed away at 5:07 am, the priest suffered massive heart attack and died.
I 50 years after his death, they discovered that Manolete died from the shock of a faulty blood transfusion, I am sure they are detailed medical
reports on this matter.
Anecdotes in General
I The prologue to Arco's marvelous book is written by Maestro Manolo Va'squez (passed away in Sevilla on Aug. 14, 2005) He retells his
encounter with a Professor Don Severo Ochoa at a conference in Sevilla in 1983.There Manolo speaks with the Prof. “I heard your talk and
I was intrigued, it appears we are both investigators.” Prof: “how so? “Well from the moment a toro leaves the toriles I have to study and investi-
gate the actions & reactions of said toro, that's my job.” In short Prof. Severo Ochao says to Manolo that “besides toreros being scientists they risk
their lives.” This anecdote leads to the subject of intellect and facts are Juan Belmonte & Manolete had one very significant quality in common, they
were both extremely intelligent and their company was sought after by artists, scientists & philosophers of their time.
I One characteristic of the traditional clothing of the toreros is that it stood out from the common clothing of their era, Manolete often dressed
in the classic traje campera/corto while at social functions, this custom was significant, it opening displayed the fact toreros figures in the mundillo
taurino were significantly different than the average man.
I Belmonte cut his own coleta (pigtail) because he seemed embarrassed by the fact some segments of society looked down their noses at
toreros and whenever he removed his hat and the pigtail would fall out.
I Page 82:The Priest Jose' Luis de Co'rdoba while holding mass in a Convent in Co'doba began his sermon with “My beloved Brothers, this is a
day of jubilee for all of us. Our “Older Brother” Manolete has cut ears & tail in la plaza”……”, then proceeded to continue the sermon of the day.
I Page 83: An anecdote regarding a Mano A Mano with Marcial Lalanda. Madrid July 28, 1941 toros of Antonio Pe'rez de San Fernando.
Among the paying fans there is always someone hiding among them that knows better but will yell demands like “Con la izquierda!” (with left
hand) knowing full well it maybe a toro that is impossible on one side and should be lidiado (just worked with basic defenses) On this afternoon
Manolete insisted on giving naturals with left and was caught on the horns more than once. Afterward in the hotel one of his cuadrilla says “why
did you go to the left hand? You knew you could get naturals off on that side.” Manolete: “The paying fans on whim want to see me on the horns?,
I'll give them what they want, I couldn't do more.”
I Page 86: In Madrid July 6, 1944 Manolete enjoyed the greatest faena of all his great faenas, with “Rato'n” of Pinto Barreiro In the tendido the afi-
cionado Agusti'n de Foxa' shouted: “Sen~or, no nos lo merecemos!” (“We don't deserve you!”)
I Page 87: Before the Corrida de La Beneficencia Sept. 19, 1946 a journalist asked Manolete about the seriousness of this shutting in with 6 toros
solo. “What suerte do you enjoy the most Maestro?” He answered quickly: “A mi la suerte que me gusta mas'es la de la milillas….porque significa
que ya ha pasado lo peor.” (“The suerte I enjoy most are the mules, this means the worst is over.”)
*Book by Fernando del Arco “Manuel Rodri'guz Manolete A los 50 Años de su Muerte y a los 80 de su Nacimiento
I When asked about Mexico and his campaign he told about his moso de espadas, always the same, when they arrived at the hotel. “Maestro there
are 3 journalists waiting for you, 2 photographers & 18 young school girls with photo albums awaiting your autograph.” So Chimo says “the professor
and the children have waiting a long time for you and they are getting very impatient.” Two by two, the youngsters approached Manolete some less
intimidated came up to him and patted him on the knees.The professor begged forgiveness that if he didn't bring them to see him in the flesh &
blood, they would not settle down to do their studies. Manolete: “Magnifico!” he stayed and chatted with the teacher & the children.
I Page 93: When Manolete appeared in Mexico toreando with the Faro'n de Texcoco Silverio Pe'rez, Silverio asked Manolete's banderillero Alfredo
David “when is your matador returning to Spain?” David: “Why do you ask?”
Silverio: “Because I won't have to continue arrimarse tanto (push so hard in the arena) Silverio said this in all seriousness.
I A letter sent to Manolete from Winston Churchill
My Dear Sir Manolete: I have received some time ago the head of a magnificent toro, that sent to me by the breeder Don Jose' Mari'a Escobar.The
toro hada distinct letter V in it's forehead.They say that you killed this bull in Valencia on Victory Day.
I would like to thank you and for the generous act & expression of the friendship from Spain. I beg yiou to accept my best wishes for the happy end-
ing for what must have been a difficult struggle.”
I Manolete first dressed in the traje de luces in Arles, France, he was amember of a troupe called “ Los Califas” , he rented the traje in Madrid and
also the montera which he kept his entire career from June, 1933. Also he attempted to use one particular shirt his entire carrer.When he finally
was forced to use a new shirt, “well my good luck hasn't broken!”
I In Madrid when they finalized the benefit corrida called “Santander” a benefit corrida
for the burn victims of the 1941 Santander fire, the Empresa had to donate 5,000 duros for each natural that
Manolete gave to the toros.
I During a corrida in Linares a fan yelled: “Ole' los feos!” (“ole' the ugly ones!”
Manolete: “but what? You came here to see Robert Taylor?”
I During the Feria de Abri'l in Sevilla 1945 after the corrida with Miuras in the Hotel Inglaterra with Various
friends there was a knock at the door and a letter was handed to his manager Camara' from the Juez de La
Maestranza in said letter the Juez declared his admiration for the diestro and apologized for not awarding him an
ear, quote “I had to protect the prestege of the Maestranza.”
Coincidently that posture was titled Oreja por correspndencia-An ear by correspondence.
I Page 136: Maestro Fermi'n Rivera Mexican matador in El Ruedo in which he said: “Belmonte invaded the ter-
renos of the toros, Manolete owned them.”
I Page 190: In Sept.1940 in Albecete, Manolete was in the callejo'n with Domingui'n Padre his son Luis Miguel as
a novillero completed a lidia he had dedicatd the noivllo to Mnaolete, after Luis Miguel
's faena Manolete said to his father: 'This son of yours comes with “the broom.”
I Page 192: In a conversation with Manolete in the book titled “De Joselito a Manolete” by Jose' Ma. Carretero relates: “Listen Manuel, that stripe of
white hair, “how long have you had that.?” After a long timid pause he said “how long?” Then laboring in a moment of sincerity related the story
about his love for a girl in his native Co'rdoba that he was madly in love with quote “in a spiritual” manner, but the parents were against the idea of
our marriage, so I limited myself to just silently contemplating her form then on.While I returned from a campaign I returned to find her married.
“I spent 8 days crying like a child, then the white hair appeared.” Carretero: “I did not dig further, I respected his memory.”
I During his entire career not one novillo or toro went out alive other than when replaced because of defect or injury.
I Jose' Tomas' grew up listening to one of his Uncles talk about Manolete, as this Uncle was Manolete's driver.To be a driver in España during the
1940s you had to be very good, the roads were atrocious.When Antonio Ordoñez was questioned, what makes a great torero? "Sleeeping in cars."
Dates Plaza Ganaderia Face Manolete's Cornadas
I Page 259: Fernando del Arco's Manuel Rodri'guez Manolete a los 50
Sept.8,1941 Murcia Concha y right cheek
Años de su Muerte de Manolete y a los 80 de su Nacimiento......
Aug.16 1942 San Sebastian Felix Moreno Left Cheek prominent scar
July 21, 1943 Valencia Galache Right eyebrow Total 18 cornadas plus a half dozen tossings resulting in flat horn blows
(varetazos), broken clavical June 29, 1945 en Alicante.
In closing these are the words of Manolete :
My life is completely obsorbed entirely by my profession.When I link a long series of naturals, with the muleta in the left hand and also end the
series with a pase de pecho, I am happy,nothing exists around me. My place in toreo is heroic and strong. I must dominate my nerves through my art
before the corrida.”
As many know the nickname of Manolete was “El Monstruo de Co'rdoba”, today Jose' Toma's inherited said honor “El Monstruo de