The blue shirt worn by Diego Maradona as he threw England with two significant goals out of the 1986 World Cup, including the so-called ‘Hand of God’ goal, has been auctioned for a record-breaking sum.
The Argentine player, hailed as one of the greatest of all time, described his first handball goal in the quarterfinals as “a little bit with the head of Maradona and a little bit with the hand of God”.
He then dribbled the ball past a number of England players to score again against goalkeeper Peter Shilton. This strike was later named “Goal of the Century”.
England midfielder Steve Hodge, who accidentally flicked the ball to Maradona in the Hand of God game, swapped shirts with his rival after the game and has been the owner ever since.
The shirt, which has spent the last 20 years on loan at the National Football Museum in Manchester, went under the hammer at Sotheby’s on Wednesday afternoon for £7,142,500 – a new auction record for sports memorabilia.
The auction house described the famous blue number 10 jersey on its website as being in “good overall condition consistent with heavy wear, sweat and athletic activity”, with “slight unraveling at hem on front of jersey and minor stains throughout”.
Brahm Wachter, Head of Streetwear and Modern Collectables at Sotheby’s, said: “This historic shirt is a tangible reminder of an important moment not only in the history of the sport but also in 20th century history.
“In the weeks since the auction was announced we have been inundated with sports fans and collectors alike, and throughout the duration of the public display there was a palpable excitement in the air – and that unfiltered excitement was reflected in the bidding.
“This is arguably the most coveted football shirt ever sold at auction, so it’s fitting that it now holds the auction record for any item of its kind.”
The game took place four years after Britain’s victory over Argentina in the Falklands War, making it meaningful for both countries.
In his autobiography, Maradona, who died in November 2020 at the age of 60, said: “It was like beating a country, not a football team.”
The previous auction record for sports memorabilia was the original autograph manuscript of the 1892 Olympic Manifesto, which fetched $8.8 million at Sotheby’s in December 2019.
https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/diego-maradonas-hand-of-god-shirt-sells-for-over-7million-at-auction-41614936.html Diego Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ shirt sells for over £7million at auction