Diego Maradona’s ‘hand of God’ shirt sold for record £7.1m at auction | Diego Maradona

The shirt worn by Diego Maradona when he scored twice – including the ‘hand of God’ goal – to knock England out of the 1986 World Cup sold for a record 7.1million pounds at auction.

The late Argentine player described his first quarter-final goal as “a bit with the head of Maradona and a bit with the hand of God”. He and England keeper Peter Shilton jumped for the ball, which hit Maradona’s left hand and bounced into the net. The referee didn’t have a clear view and let the goal stand.

Minutes later, Maradona dribbled past a crowd of England players to score again, a strike that was voted goal of the century in a 2002 poll of 340,000 fans in 150 countries. Argentina won the tournament.

The shirt has belonged for 35 years to Steve Hodge, the England midfielder who unwittingly sent the ball to Maradona for the handball goal. The two players exchanged their shirts at the end of the game.

The shirt on display at Sotheby’s in London. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA

It has spent the past 20 years on loan to the National Football Museum in Manchester and was auctioned at Sotheby’s on Wednesday afternoon for £7,142,500, a new auction record for a sports memorabilia item. The buyer has not been identified.

Sotheby’s described the blue No. 10 shirt on its website as “in overall good condition consistent with heavy use, sweating and athletic activity” with “a slight hem peeling on the front of the bottom of the shirt and minor stains throughout”.

Brahm Wachter, Head of Streetwear and Modern Collectibles at Sotheby’s, said: “This historic shirt is a tangible reminder of an important moment not just in sports history but in 20th century history.

“In the weeks since the announcement of the auction, we have been inundated with sports fans and collectors, with palpable excitement in the air for the duration of the public display – and that enthusiasm unfiltered has trickled down to the bidding This is arguably the most coveted football shirt ever to come to auction, so it’s only fitting that it now holds the auction record for any item in this kind.

Hodge said the shirt had “a deep cultural meaning for the world of football, the people of Argentina and the people of England”. He added: “It was an absolute privilege to have played against one of the greatest and most magnificent football players of all time.”

The match took place four years after the United Kingdom defeated Argentina in the Falklands War and therefore took on great significance for both countries. In his autobiography, Maradona – who died in November 2020 aged 60 – said: “It was like beating a country, not a football team.”

Sotheby’s had estimated the shirt would sell for at least £4million. The previous auction record for sports memorabilia was set by an autographed original manuscript of the 1892 Olympic manifesto, sold at Sotheby’s for $8.8 million (£7.05 million at today’s exchange rate) today) in 2019.

Ordinary but important items sold for record amounts at auction

  • The last violin played on the Titanic sold at auction for $1.7 million in less than 10 minutes in 2013. The instrument belonged to Wallace Hartley, an English musician whose eight-piece band played while the ship sank in the frozen waters of the Atlantic in April 1912. According to reports, Hartley’s body was pulled from the water a few days later with his violin case still strapped to his back.

  • John Lennon’s flower china toilets sold for nearly $15,000 (£9,500) – around 10 times the estimate – in 2010. The toilets came from Tittenhurst Park, an English estate owned by Lennon and Yoko Ono, where the former Beatle recorded his album and film Imagine. . When Lennon had the toilet replaced, he told the builders to “put flowers on it or something”. The sale’s organizers called it the most unusual item they had ever handled.

  • An oak chair that JK Rowling used while writing the first two books in the Harry Potter series sold for $394,000 (£278,000) in 2016. The 1930s chair was one of four chairs mismatched dresses offered free to the then little-known writer for her council apartment. in Edinburgh. Before offering it up for auction to benefit the NSPCC in 2002, Rowling painted on the chair: “You may not/find me pretty/but don’t judge/by what you see.”

  • Marilyn Monroe’s white halter dress she wore in the 1955 film The Seven Year Itch sold for $4.6 million in 2011. “Oh, can you feel the subway breeze? Isn’t it delicious? Monroe says in the film that the dress is blown by air from a New York City subway grate. This image has become one of the most memorable in the history of cinema. The dress was designed by William Travilla and made from rayon acetate to give it crisp pleats.

  • A copy of the Bible used by Elvis Presley sold for £59,000 in 2012. A pair of Presley’s unwashed and soiled underwear worn under his famous white jumpsuit at a concert in 1977 went unsold after bids fell short of the reserve price of £7,000.

  • False teeth belonging to Winston Churchill sold for £15,200 in 2010. The upper dentures, one of several sets made for the wartime Prime Minister, were specially constructed to preserve his natural lisp and were so important to him that he wore two pairs at all. time. They were designed to be baggy so that Churchill could retain the famous diction from his radio broadcasts during World War II.

Elizabeth J. Harless