Diego Maradona's 'Hand of God' shirt fetches record £7.1 million in auction

Argentine great's jersey attracts biggest bid for sports memorabilia

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The shirt that Argentina great Diego Maradona wore during the 1986 World Cup quarter-final against England has fetched a record £7.1 million in auction, Sotheby's announced on Wednesday.

Maradona wore his famous No 10 shirt during the controversial match in Mexico. In the second half, he put the South American side ahead by punching the ball into the net, a goal that later became famous as the "Hand of God". Minutes later, Maradona dribbled from his own half to score a sublime second that is widely considered the greatest World Cup goal.

England midfielder Steve Hodge had managed to get Maradona's jersey after the match and put it up for auction after almost 20 years on display at England's National Football Museum.

The shirt went under the hammer at auction house Sotheby's on Wednesday for £7,142,500 ($8.9m) - marking a new auction record for any sports memorabilia.

"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," Brahm Wachter, Sotheby's head of streetwear and modern collectables, was quoted as saying by the Press Association.

"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."

However, there was some controversy ahead of the sale. Maradona's family claimed that the wrong shirt went under the hammer, with his daughter and ex-wife casting doubt on the authenticity of the item by saying Hodge got the shirt Maradona wore in the first half of that match.

Sotheby’s confirmed that Maradona did wear two different shirts during the game, but insisted they were selling the right one.

Updated: May 04, 2022, 3:54 PM
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