Miguel Baez Spinola the liter (Madrid, 1968) and his family are used to dealing with death. His father, his grandfather and his great-grandfather were bullfighters. For more than a decade, Miguel was too, fighting in hundreds of bullfights a year and always being at the top of the ranking. However, he had never been so close to death as in these last few weeks. Only four days after his wedding with Casilda Ybarra de Fontcuberta, held on May 14, El Litri lost his father, Miguel Báez y Espuny, who was 91 years old. He had to cut short their honeymoon in Italy to attend his funeral. Now, two weeks later, he has just lost his mother, Concha Spínola, 71. As confirmed by EL PAÍS, Spínola died on the morning of this Monday, June 6, due to a heart attack.
The death of Miguel Báez and Concha Spínola so few days apart has shocked bullfighting fans and high society, two worlds in which this couple knew how to move with ease for more than half a century. Their wedding, in 1967, was one of the events of that year. He was part of one of the most famous Huelva dynasties. She, María Concepción Spínola y González-Cocho, twenty years younger, was the daughter of Máximo Spínola y Cárdenas, a close friend of Don Juan, Count of Barcelona. Cristóbal Balenciaga traveled from Paris to dress the bride, who said “I do” to the bullfighter at the Royal Monastery of Santa María de Guadalupe, in Cáceres.
The love story of the Báez-Spínola couple was not easy. The right-hander had to wait five years for Concha to come of age in order to get married. She, who had never been to see him in a bullring, made him promise that she would leave the bulls. And he kept her word. “I retired from the art of bullfighting for love. I found my true love, my wife, and I have never regretted it. It has been the best decision of my life”, he acknowledged in an interview with the EFE agency in 2000.
The couple had three children: Miguel, already retired from bullfighting; Rocío, who works at the United Nations; and Miriam, who is dedicated to public relations. Concha was the sister of Mayte Spínola, an important patron and artist married to the industrialist Graciliano Barreiros and a friend of the emeritus kings, and of Carmen Spínola, also a painter. The three of them were very close.
The mortal remains of El Litri’s mother have already been transferred to the San Isidro funeral home in Madrid, where the funeral chapel will take place. Just two weeks ago, her husband was also veiled there, who died on May 18, just a few days after the wedding of her son to Casilda Ybarra.
Concha Spínola’s last public appearance was precisely in her husband’s funeral chapel. A few days before, of course, she was at the wedding of her son Miguel de Ella, on May 14 in Seville. She acted as godmother, while Antonio Ybarra Llosent, father of the bride, acted as her godfather. It was a private and hermetic ceremony at the Carrascalejo farmhouse, owned by the Báez family, in Sanlúcar la Mayor. The children of the right-hander, Olimpia, Miguel and Atalanta, the result of her first marriage with Carolina Adriana Herrera (from whom he separated in 2017), did not miss the civil link.
These are not easy days for Miguel Báez “El Litri”. On the night of Sunday to Monday, as if it were an omen, the procession of the Virgen del Rocío through the village of Almonte had to be suspended due to the breaking of a bank of the new processional litters. The bullfighter, devoted rociero and dedicated to the Brotherhood of Huelva, was the main donor of these new litters of the Patron Saint of Almonte.
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