Steve Hodge lands record payday as Maradona ‘Hand of God’ shirt goes under the hammer
Nottingham Forest hero Steve Hodge has sold his Diego Maradona ‘Hand of God’ shirt for over £7million at auction.
Former Forest midfielder Hodge swapped shirts with the legendary Maradona after the 1986 World Cup quarter-final between England and Argentina in Mexico, and has owned him ever since, although the article has spent the last 20 years on loan at the National Football Museum in Manchester. Maradona – one of the greatest footballers of all time, who died in November 2020 at the age of 60 – scored two unforgettable goals in the game, including one assisted by the ‘Hand of God’, as the England were eliminated from the tournament.
Hodge let the shirt go under the hammer at a specialist auction, but the Forest hero has reportedly faced a dramatic appeal from the Argentine FA begging him not to sell the historic shirt. It is unclear whether the Argentine delegation that traveled to England hoping to bring her back to the Maradona Museum in Buenos Aires was successful.
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The auction for Hodge’s shirt has now closed with a winning bid of £7,142,500 for the historic piece of football memorabilia – marking a new auction record for a sports memorabilia item, according to Sotherby’s.
For the past 20 years, the match kit has been loaned to England’s National Football Museum in Manchester.
Revealing why he is selling the iconic shirt, he said: “I have been the proud owner of this item for over 35 years, ever since Diego and I swapped shirts in the tunnel after the famous match. It was an absolute privilege to playing against one of the greatest and most magnificent footballers of all time.
“It was also a pleasure to share it with the public over the past 20 years at the National Football Museum, where it has been exhibited. The Hand of God shirt has deep cultural significance for the world of football, the people of Argentina, and the people of England and I am sure the new owner will be extremely proud to own the most iconic football shirt in the world.”