Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ shirt sold at auction for £7.1m

The shirt worn by Diego Maradona during his legendary performance against England in the 1986 World Cup quarter-finals has sold at auction for £7.14 million ($8.93 million) — a record for an item of sports memorabilia.Maradona’s performance that day was tinged with both greatness and controversy. He punched the ball past Peter Shilton to score the infamous ‘Hand of God’ goal, but later slalomed past six England defenders for the ‘Goal of the Century’, handing Argentina a 2-1 win.After the match, he swapped his jersey with Nottingham Forest defender Steve Hodge, who had given the ball away to Maradona ahead of the Argentine’s second goal.Hodge placed the shirt up for auction earlier this year, with the jersey having lived in the National Football Museum in Manchester for over 20 years.The iconic blue V-neck Le Coq Sportif shirt adorned with a glittering No.10 is widely considered one of the most valuable pieces of sports memorabilia in existence.However, its sale has not been without controversy, with Maradona’s family claiming that Hodge’s shirt is one which Maradona changed out of at halftime, and was not worn when he scored his famous brace.Nevertheless, the shirt was placed up for auction by Sotheby’s on April 20th, and had only attracted one bid of £4 million until earlier on Wednesday, when a flurry of late bids pushed the price past £7 million.Hodge did not reply to a request for comment from The Athletic on the shirt’s authenticity earlier this month.Previously asked why he was selling the shirt, Hodge said: “I have been the proud owner of this item for over 35 years, since Diego and I swapped shirts in the tunnel after the famed match. It was an absolute privilege to have played against one of the greatest and most magnificent football players of all time.“It has also been a pleasure to share it with the public over the last 20 years at the National Football Museum, where it has been on display. The Hand of God shirt has deep cultural meaning to the football world, the people of Argentina, and the people of England and I’m certain that the new owner will have immense pride in owning the world’s most iconic football shirt.”The previous record for most expensive item of sporting memorabilia was held by the original Olympic Games manifesto, written in 1892, which was sold for $8.8 million in February 2020.That item was purchased by former Everton sponsor Alisher Usmanov, a previous president of the International Fencing Federation. His assets were frozen by the European Union in March due to alleged ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.Maradona died in November 2020 at the age of 60.(Photos: Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for Sotheby's, Getty Images)

Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ shirt sold at auction for £7.1m
The shirt worn by Diego Maradona during his legendary performance against England in the 1986 World Cup quarter-finals has sold at auction for £7.14 million ($8.93 million) — a record for an item of sports memorabilia.Maradona’s performance that day was tinged with both greatness and controversy. He punched the ball past Peter Shilton to score the infamous ‘Hand of God’ goal, but later slalomed past six England defenders for the ‘Goal of the Century’, handing Argentina a 2-1 win.After the match, he swapped his jersey with Nottingham Forest defender Steve Hodge, who had given the ball away to Maradona ahead of the Argentine’s second goal.Hodge placed the shirt up for auction earlier this year, with the jersey having lived in the National Football Museum in Manchester for over 20 years.The iconic blue V-neck Le Coq Sportif shirt adorned with a glittering No.10 is widely considered one of the most valuable pieces of sports memorabilia in existence.However, its sale has not been without controversy, with Maradona’s family claiming that Hodge’s shirt is one which Maradona changed out of at halftime, and was not worn when he scored his famous brace.Nevertheless, the shirt was placed up for auction by Sotheby’s on April 20th, and had only attracted one bid of £4 million until earlier on Wednesday, when a flurry of late bids pushed the price past £7 million.Hodge did not reply to a request for comment from The Athletic on the shirt’s authenticity earlier this month.Previously asked why he was selling the shirt, Hodge said: “I have been the proud owner of this item for over 35 years, since Diego and I swapped shirts in the tunnel after the famed match. It was an absolute privilege to have played against one of the greatest and most magnificent football players of all time.“It has also been a pleasure to share it with the public over the last 20 years at the National Football Museum, where it has been on display. The Hand of God shirt has deep cultural meaning to the football world, the people of Argentina, and the people of England and I’m certain that the new owner will have immense pride in owning the world’s most iconic football shirt.”The previous record for most expensive item of sporting memorabilia was held by the original Olympic Games manifesto, written in 1892, which was sold for $8.8 million in February 2020.That item was purchased by former Everton sponsor Alisher Usmanov, a previous president of the International Fencing Federation. His assets were frozen by the European Union in March due to alleged ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.Maradona died in November 2020 at the age of 60.(Photos: Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for Sotheby's, Getty Images)