The shirt worn by Diego Maradona when he scored the “Hand of God” goal against England at the 1986 World Cup sold for a world record price of $9.28 million at auction at Sotheby’s in London.
The final price tops the previous record spent on a game-worn jersey, which was $5.64 million spent in 2019 on Babe Ruth’s 1928-1930 New York Yankees jersey.
The eventual hammer price for Maradona’s jersey fell short of the record price spent on a sports memorabilia, which stands at $8.8 million for the original hand-drawn Olympic manifesto that sold in 2019 in New York.
Maradona wore the shirt in the quarter-final against England in 1986 in which he scored both of Argentina’s goals in their 2-1 victory.
The first was the infamous “Hand of God” goal, where he patted the ball past England goalkeeper Peter Shilton. Maradona, who died in November 2020, later said the goal was “a little from Maradona’s head, and a little from the hand of God.”
His second goal is widely regarded as one of the best to grace a World Cup. Maradona collected the ball at the halfway line, dribbled past almost the entire England team and past Shilton to give Argentina a 2-0 lead. He was later elected Goal of the Century by FIFA.
Steve Hodge, the former England midfielder, swapped jerseys with Maradona after the 1986 match. He had previously turned down potential offers for the jersey, and it had been on display at the National Football Museum since 2002. But on April 6, Sotheby’s announced that the shirt was up for auction.
Sotheby’s placed an estimate of £4m-6m ($5m-7.5m) on the shirt and, within hours of the auction opening on April 21, there was an initial bid of £4m. Once the buyer’s premium, general premium and taxes were factored in, the price surpassed the previous record of $5.64 million on Ruth’s shirt and set a new record in the process.
The listing was not without controversy. When Sotheby’s announced the auction, Maradona’s daughter Dalma claimed it was the wrong shirt. She said the jersey Hodge was wearing was in fact the one Maradona wore in the first half of that 1986 match, and not the one he was wearing when he scored the two goals.
But Sotheby’s turned to Resolution Photomatching to independently verify that Hodge had the correct shirt from the second half and that it was the “Hand of God” shirt.
The buyer will remain anonymous, and auctioneer Brahm Wachter told ESPN that “whoever buys it, [la camiseta] It will probably never show up again.”
This auction comes just a month after an anonymous bidder spent $5.516 million auctioning off the clubs used by Tiger Woods to win all four Majors between 2000 and 2001. Sources inside the world of sports memorabilia told ESPN that they hope a further boom in the demand for shirts, specifically football shirts, during the coming months.
We would love to thank the writer of this article for this remarkable material
Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ T-shirt sells at record price during auction