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Diego Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ shirt set to sell for millions at auction

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he shirt worn by Diego Maradona when he scored two of football’s most famous goals to dump England out of the 1986 World Cup is set to fetch around £4 million at auction.

Former Three Lions midfielder Steve Hodge, who swapped shirts with the Argentinian in the tunnel after the game, said he had been “proud” to own part of sporting history but has decided to sell it at Sotheby’s later this month.

Hodge, 59, played 24 times for his country and was one of the players who faced Maradona at the tournament in Mexico, where he scored twice.

The shirt worn by Diego Maradona when he scored the ‘hand of God’ goal against England in the World Cup

/ Sotheby’s

His first goal, dubbed “The hand of God”, was scored with his hand but the referee let it stand and after the match the star, who some say is the greatest player of all time, said the goal was scored “a little with the head of Maradona, and a little with the hand of God”.

The second goal is widely judged to be one of the greatest ever as Maradona dribbled past the massed ranks of the England team before slotting the ball past goalkeeper Peter Shilton.

Hodge said he initially missed out on the jersey in the “bedlam” around the match winner after the final whistle but he met him again on his way to the dressing room.

In a previous interview he said: “I tugged on my shirt and he came across… exchanged shirts and off he went and off I went and it went to my attic for the next 16 years in a bag.”

The shirt worn by Diego Maradona when he scored the ‘hand of God’ goal against England in the World Cup

/ Sotheby’s

It was later put on display in the National Football Museum in Manchester. Speaking after Maradona’s death last year, Hodge said the shirt was not for sale but has now changed his mind.

He said: “I have been the proud owner of this item for over 35 years. It has deep cultural meaning to the football world… and I’m certain that the new owner will have immense pride in owning the world’s most iconic football shirt.”

The game came four years after the UK had defeated Argentina in the Falklands War and took on greater significance for both countries because of it.

The shirt is likely to be highly sought after with sports memorabilia becoming increasingly popular with collectors.

The current record for a game-worn shirt is £4.2 million for a Yankee’s top belonging to baseball player Babe Ruth.

The shirt will be sold online, with bidding beginning from April 20, and will go on show at Sotheby’s New Bond Street Gallery until the auction ends.

Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s head of streetwear and modern collectables, said: “Not only was ‘the hand of God’ goal scored in this game but also the goal of the century.

“It is the first time the shirt has ever been brought to market, and Sotheby’s is honoured to be a part of the item’s history now.”

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