Jaime Ostos (Écija, Seville, April 8, 1931) has died at the age of 90 as a result of a heart attack that he suffered this Saturday morning. The bullfighter and his wife, Maria Ángeles Grajal, were traveling in Colombia when the event occurred. The couple had gone on a pleasure trip to the Colombian town of Manizales. His family processes the transfer to Spain of the bullfighter’s ashes.
With Jaime Ostos, a bullfighter disappears, a right-hander from head to toe, heroic, and competitive in the arena and passionate and controversial outside of them; an old-fashioned figure of bullfighting, a “lion’s heart”, an appellation attributed to him by the critic Gonzalo Carvajal, for his strength and irrepressible desire for triumph.
He was an indisputable figure in the sixties and seventies, and once he retired from bullfighting, he remained at the forefront of social life due to his marriage to the doctor María Ángeles Grajal. The bullfighter had overcome the covid and a serious surgical intervention on his back in the spring of 2020. Despite his advanced age, he was a regular visitor to the squares and a lover of travel, like this one to the distant American country, where he has died. His last bullfighting appearances as a spectator were in the Madrid town of Leganés, in May 2021, and in Brihuega (Guadalajara), in June of the same year.
Ostos was born in the Sevillian town of Écija into a middle-class family, and surprised his parents when he announced his intention to be a bullfighter. In 2015, at a ceremony held in Seville, he said that he was studying first year of high school in Écija: “And one day, on the way to high school, they told me that Manolete was in town. I ran and when I entered the hotel I collided with a man and almost threw him; It was Manolete and that impressed me ”.
“I took off my mother’s red stretcher clothes and made myself a crutch to fight in the field, from where many times I had to run because the cowboys were chasing me. My father didn’t want me to be a bullfighter, so much so that the day I told him he gave me a slap. I came to Seville and here, not without difficulties, I became a bullfighter ”, he said.
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He appeared in public on June 1, 1952, debuted with picadores in Osuna on April 5, 1953, and by then he had a tough rivalry with his countryman Bartolomé Jiménez Torres. He took the alternative on October 13, 1956 in Zaragoza, with Miguel Báez, The Litri, as godfather and Antonio Ordóñez as witness. From then on, his career was meteoric, and in the season of ’62 he topped the matador ranks, with 79 runs, along with Diego Puerta from Seville.
The following year, a very serious goring put him on the brink of death. He came out miraculously thanks to the intervention of the rejoneador Ángel Peralta. The event occurred on July 17, 1963 in the Plaza de Tarazona de Aragón, where Ostos announced himself with El Viti and Caracol, and ahead of the rejoneador Ángel Peralta. Ostos received by veronicas the first bull of the afternoon, from the Hermanos Ramos Matías herd; moments later, crutch in hand, a gust of wind exposed him and the bull caught him and destroyed his iliac.
They took him to the infirmary with the impression of a very serious mishap. He was admitted without a pulse, almost lifeless, in an operating room lacking the most elementary means. The right-hander recalled in 2015 that “there was a saving angel, Ángel Peralta, who encouraged many fans to donate their blood to me. They saved my life with needles. I got upstairs, San Pedro asked me my name and sent me down. Everyone worried about me except Franco, because the next day I was on the front page of all the newspapers and I annoyed the prominence of July 18 ”. “There was no blood, I couldn’t even see and the doctors were signing the death certificate, but Ángel Peralta looked for 300 guys who got in line to give me their blood,” the bullfighter recalled.
The chaplain had already given him last rites. “It is that he was dead; and if I was saved it was thanks to Ángel ”, who covered the wound and led to those desperate transfusions that achieved their purpose. Jaime Ostos spent more than a month fighting to survive in the San Ignacio de Zaragoza clinic, in the hands of Dr. Val Carreres.
It took him a year and a half to reappear in the arena, and he did so in the square of Nimes with a full stop in his career. The fearlessness without measure turned into a head better furnished in the face of the bull. He returned to triumph in the most important fairs, and announced his retirement in 1974. Despite this, he dressed in lights on different occasions, such as in the Plaza de Carabanchel. He reappeared at the April Fair of 1980 in La Maestranza, in whose albero he had achieved some of his many and important triumphs, and that was his farewell to the Sevillian fans, and, later, in that of San Isidro.
In that same square, on October 1, 1967, the Cross of Charity was imposed on him, which recognized the deeply supportive aspect of the bullfighter, since throughout his career he participated in more than 300 charity festivals for different bullfighting and social causes.
Out of the ring, Jaime Ostos has been until the day of his death a character in the social chronicle, without mincing words about bullfighting, politics and his private life and that of his descendants. He was married on October 21, 1960 in the Basilica of the Macarena in Seville, and they separated nine years later. He then maintained a sentimental relationship with Lita Trujillo, and in March 1987 he remarried the pulmonologist María Ángeles Grajal.
Jaime Ostos has been a bullfighter with an extraordinary personality, brave, feisty, controversial, thorough and heroic, who throughout his career maintained a striking hunger for triumph, which allowed him to be considered a figure of the time, passionate, honest and supportive .
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