Diego Maradona's iconic 'Hand of God' shirt sells for record £7.1m at auction

4 May 2022, 16:19 | Updated: 4 May 2022, 17:03

Diego Maradona Hand of God Goal Argentina v England 1986
Diego Maradona Hand of God Goal Argentina v England 1986. Picture: Getty/Alamy

By Megan Hinton

Argentina legend Diego Maradona's famous 'Hand of God' football shirt has become the most expensive match-worn sports journey in history after selling at auction for over £7million.

The iconic shirt blue shirt was worn during the 1986 World Cup quarter-final against the Three Lions where the football star scored the notorious 'Hand of God' goal.

After the match, Maradona swapped shirts with England midfielder Steve Hodge, who continued to own it while loaning it to Manchester's National Football Museum for two decades.

The 59-year-old former Nottingham Forest star decided to sell up earlier this year and Sotheby's arranged the auction with bidding open from April 20 until May 4.

In the last few minutes of the auction, more and more bids were placed. When the auction ended at 4pm, the shirt sold for £7,142,500.

It was estimated to sell for between £4m-£6m.

Read more: National Trust faces boycott after members left 'mortified' by gender-neutral toilets

Diego Maradona - El Grafico Sports Archive
Diego Maradona - El Grafico Sports Archive. Picture: Getty

When putting the shirt up for sale, 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."

Initially tit was unclear if the shirt was the one Maradona scored his famous goals against England in, as he wore separate shirts in each half at the Estadio Azteca.

Read more: Knife-wielding man, 23, charged with attacking Dave Chappelle after trans joke backlash

Football bosses begged ex-England star Steve Hodge to pull out of the auction
Football bosses begged ex-England star Steve Hodge to pull out of the auction. Picture: Alamy

However, Sotheby's worked with Resolution Photomatching to prove the shirt Hodge sold was indeed the item the Argentinian wore in the second half when he scored the 'Hand of God' goal and a second wonder strike that knocked England out of the tournament.

After defeating England in the quarter-finals, Maradona spearheaded Argentina's charge to World Cup glory in 1986 and many fans continue to regard him as the best player ever to grace the pitch.

The global icon died aged 60 in November 2020 following a cardiac arrest.