Former England striker Gary Lineker has spoken about the sale of Diego Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ shirt from the World Cup quarter-final against Argentina in 1986
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Maradona wore the bright blue strip as he scored a brace to help Argentina squeeze past the Three Lions in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final. The South American nation went on to win the tournament with a 3-2 win over West Germany in the final in Mexico.
His first goal caused all kind of controversy when he rose and prodded the ball beyond Peter Shilton with his fist to put his country ahead. Maradona later said the goal was made “a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God”.
Moments later, Maradona scored arguably the greatest goal of all-time, starting his run from in his own half and weaving between helpless England players before slotting home. Lineker pulled a goal back for the Three Lions in the 81st minute but it was too little too late to turn the game on its head.
After the game, Maradona and Hodge swapped shirts. The latter let the shirt go under the hammer in a specialist auction, but the Forest hero was reported to have been subject to a dramatic plea from the Argentinian FA begging him not to sell the historic shirt.
It is not known whether the Argentine delegation that travelled to England with hope of taking it back to the Maradona museum in Buenos Aires have been successful. The auction for Hodge’s shirt has now closed with a winning bid of £7,142,500 picking up the historic piece of football memorabilia – marking a new auction record for an item sports memorabilia, according to Sotherby’s.
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For the past 20 years, the match-worn has been on loan to England’s National Football Museum in Manchester. On Twitter, Lineker gave his reaction to the news and joked he will ‘take offers’ for his shirt from the game. He said: “Holy moly. Well played, Steve Hodge. I’ll take offers for the other number 10 shirt in that game….reckon I’ll get at least a tenner.”
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.”