Diego Maradona’s shirt, worn in the ‘Hand of God’ match against England, has sold for £7,142,500 at auction.
Former England midfielder Steve Hodge decided to sell the jersey 36 years after he swapped it with Maradona in the tunnel at the 1986 World Cup following Argentina’s controversial 2-1 victory over England in the quarter-finals.
The shirt, estimated to sell for between £4m-6m, went up for auction on April 20 and there was only one bid for £4m, the reserve price, until nine minutes before the deadline.
A late offer of £4.2m led to more bids with the historic item eventually selling for £7,142,500 making it the highest price ever paid for a shirt worn during a sports match.
The previous highest fee paid for a shirt worn during a sports match was held by New York Yankees legend Babe Ruth’s baseball jersey, which sold for $5.6m (£4.4m) in 2019.
Argentina legend Maradona equalised against England at the 1986 World Cup with his hand before going on to score the “goal of the century” to send his country through. Maradona said the first goal was made “a little with the head of Maradona, and a little with the hand of God”.
Former Nottingham Forest star Hodge had unintentionally flicked the ball to the forward which led to the first goal. Following Maradona’s death in November 2020, Hodge said the shirt was not for sale. He had owned the shirt ever since the match although for the last 20 years it had been on display at the National Football Museum in Manchester.
Brahm Wachter, head of streetwear and modern collectables at Sotheby’s, who orchestrated the sale, said: “This historic shirt is a tangible reminder of an important moment not only in the history of sports, but in the history of the 20th century.
“In the weeks since we announced the auction we have been inundated by sports fans and collectors alike, with a palpable excitement in the air for the duration of the public exhibition – and this unfiltered enthusiasm was echoed in the bidding.
“This is arguably the most coveted football shirt to ever come to auction, and so it is fitting that it now holds the auction record for any object of its kind.”