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Gored Ieuan, it's a bull not a ball!

Byline: By David Williamson Western Mail

A welshman who was injured in a Mexican bullring after mistakenly thinking he was being told to look out for a ball is recovering at home.

Ieuan Llewellyn, originally from Cardiff, had jumped at the chance to take part in a 'fun' soccer match before a bullfight, but he ended up covered in blood after being repeatedly gored by a bull.

Ieuan, 44, and five other members of the audience were invited to enter the Plaza de Toros bullring in Cancun.

As the audience enjoyed the kickabout the organisers released the 18-stone animal into the ring.

But Mr Llewellyn will not be able to claim compensation because he had signed an injury disclaimer before entering the ring.

The 1,500-strong crowd cheered and clapped as the black bull charged at Ieuan and tossed him into the air with eight-inch long horns.

Ieuan, a publisher, picked himself up and tried to run away from the crazed creature but was attacked again.

During the 12-minute 'entertainment', which was captured on film by hundreds of tourists, Ieuan was gored nine times by the bull.

The right side of his body was left covered in blood and he had to be treated by a doctor.

Ieuan, now home in Bournemouth, Dorset, described how he could have died during the stunt.

He said, 'The whole thing was terrifying and I was in agony but the crowd thought it was great and kept on cheering.

'I tried to get away but I just couldn't run any further so I tried to stand up to it but it just catapulted me into the air.

'It gored me, tossed me and kicked me but everybody thought it was a big laugh.

'In the end a matador came out and ushered it back into its pen.'

Ieuan, who weighs 16 stone, added, 'Anybody lighter could have been seriously hurt by it.'

He explained how he ended up in the bullring as part of the entertainment for the main bullfight.

He said that before he stepped forward a number of women from the audience had tried to catch a harmless baby bull in the ring.

He said, 'The English-speaking compere then asked for six male volunteers so I thought 'Why not?' and stood up.

'The six of us went into the ring and we were given helmets to put on our heads.

'The compere said we would be playing a game of soccer and the organisers brought out two small-sized goal nets.

'Then he said, 'Watch out for the ball' but he obviously meant bull.

'We started having a three-a-side kickabout but then the crowd cheered and applauded and out of the corner of my eye I saw this huge bull.'

He said the animal charged at the volunteers 16 times, but nine of its approaches were aimed at Ieuan.

He said, 'It went for the goalie at first but he ran behind the net so it made a bee-line for me.

'It kept on taking about 20-yard run-ups and charging at me, there was nothing I could do.

'I tried to grab hold of its horns but couldn't get near them.

'I was ready to give up but then a matador appeared and took the bull away.'

Afterwards, the compere raised Ieuan's arm in the air and presented him with a prize of a free restaurant meal.

He was then sent to a medical room where a doctor doused his right arm and leg with antiseptic to treat his wounds.

As well as the cuts and grazes to his arm and leg his ribs were also left badly bruised.

Ieuan added, 'The real insult was when the doctor asked me for a tip but by that stage I just wanted to get out of there so I handed him whatever was in my pocket.

'But when I got back to the hotel I was a bit of a celebrity.

'Everybody knew who I was and kept showing me their own video footage of the bullfight.

'God knows how many times I have seen myself being thrown into the air.'
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Apr 27, 2004
Words:686
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