Diego Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ shirt sells for record £7million at auction

Diego Maradona’s iconic shirt is up for sale at Sotheby’s

Diego Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ shirt has been sold for £7,142,500 ($9.3 million) to become the most expensive match-worn sports jersey in history.

Worn in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final against England, the shirt was in possession of former England star Steve Hodge, who exchanged shirts with the legendary No 10 after the game.

The 59-year-old played in the infamous match in Mexico, unintentionally flicking the ball up for the Argentine forward to score one of the most iconic goals in the sport’s history with his hand.

The shirt breaks the previous record when a Babe Ruth jersey, worn with the New York Yankees between 1928-30, fetched $5.64m (£4.4m) in 2019 by Hunt Auctions.

But the Maradona jersey, sold by Sotheby’s, is “arguably the most coveted football shirt to ever come to auction,” according to Brahm Wachter, Head of Streetwear and Modern Collectables.

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Its final price came after a flurry of late bids having immediated gardnered worldwide attention with an initial £5m bid.

Hodge was the subject of an Argentine delegation hoping to prevent the item from being sold, having travelled to London in a desperate bid to bring the shirt back to a Maradona museum in Buenos Aires.

Members from the Argentine FA, Maradona’s family and a private memorabilia firm are looking to convince Hodge to instead hand the shirt back.

Diego Maradona’s iconic shirt is up for sale at Sotheby’s

“He is selling something that belongs to Maradona and the AFA without authorisation,” one member of the delegation said, according to the Sun.

“It should be in Argentina in order all Argentines can enjoy it — and not for a millionaire to display it in his closet.”

Having initially loaned the shirt to Manchester’s National Football Museum, Hodge may now face a legal battle over the shirt.

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Maradona’s family also claim that Hodge has possession of the shirt Maradona used in the first half, meaning it is not the shirt worn to score the notorious goal, scored in the 51st minute of the second half at the Estadio Azteca.

However, Sotherbys claim they have verified beyond doubt that it is the authentic shirt.

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