El Ingles - first English matador dies aged 72

THE first English man to become a bullfighter in Spain has died aged 72.

Douglas Greenwood, who grew up in White Lee, was a matador in Barcelona where he was known as 'El Ingles'.

He had gone to the Spanish city to learn the language after meeting a Spanish girl while on holiday.

Mr Greenwood, who spent his early years at his parents' fish and chip shop at White Lee and attended Healey School, worked at a bull farm to earn his keep while studying in Barcelona.

He soon became interested in bull fighting and after a friend took him to train at Matador school he became a skilled fighter.

But it wasn't the first daredevil occupation for Mr Greenwood, who, on leaving school aged 15 became the youngest shot firer at Gomersal Colliery.

He was also a leading amateur wrestler as a teenager and fought bouts in the ring in Bradford.

Later his army drafting took him to Kenya, and it was on his return aged 20 he took the holiday in Spain that altered the course of his life.

Mr Greenwood's language skills took him to the Canary Islands where he worked as a translator for the Sopwith family, famous for building the Sopwith Camel aircraft.

After seven years he returned to England, where he took up a post as a teacher of Spanish and Portuguese at a language school in Brighton.

It was at a bullfight where Mr Greenwood met his Gibraltan wife of 38 years, Joy, who died aged 60. The couple had one son Stephen, who lives in Hove.

Five years ago Mr Greenwood met his second wife Tanya, from Russia, while working at the language school.

Just a year ago Mr Greenwood decided he wanted to return to Yorkshire so the couple moved back up north to Keighley.

Mr Greenwood died in Airedale General Hospital after a short illness.

He leaves Tanya and Stephen and is survived by two sisters, Shirley Crowther, who still lives in Batley, Elaine, who lives in Mirfield, and one brother Alan.