'Hand of God' shirt owned by Nottingham Forest hero, Steve Hodge, sells for more than £7 million

Chloe Keedy reports on the auction for ITV News.

Diego Maradona's shirt, worn in the famous 'Hand of God' match, has sold for £7,142,500 in an auction which ended after a dramatic final nine minutes- marking a new auction record for any item of sports memorabilia.

The previous auction record was the original autographed manuscript of the Olympic Manifesto from 1892, which sold at Sotheby’s for 8.8 million US dollars in December 2019.

It went up for auction on April 20th, and there was only one bid for £4m, the reserve price, until 15:51 today when a late bidder put in an offer of £4.2m for the shirt.

In the last few minutes of the auction, more and more bids were placed. When the auction ended at 4pm, the shirt sold for £7,142,500.

The shirt sold for a huge £7.1million Credit: Sotheby's

The buyer has chosen to stay anonymous.

The auction house described the famous blue number 10 jersey on its website as in “good overall condition consistent with heavy use, perspiration and athletic activity” with “slight de-threading on hemming on the front bottom of shirt, and minor spots throughout”.

The history behind the shirt:

Steve Hodges told ITV News Central about the moment leading up to his shirt swap with Diego Maradona - after England were 'cheated' in the World Cup - in this archive footage from 1986

Maradona swapped his shirt with Nottingham Forest hero, Steve Hodge, in the tunnel after the 1986 World Cup quarter-final clash in Mexico, which knocked England out of the competition.

The Argentinian was known to many as the greatest of all time after he scored a hand goal, which he later said was made “a little with the head of Maradona, and a little with the hand of God”, and for the “goal of the century” when he dribbled past several England players to score another goal.

Diego Maradona, left, is seen in the controversial action in which he knocked the ball into the net of British goalie Peter Shilton. Credit: AP

Midfielder Steve Hodge unintentionally flicked the ball to Maradona, which lead him to score the Hand of God goal.

The game came four years after the UK had defeated Argentina in the Falklands War and took on greater significance for both countries as a result.

In his autobiography, Maradona, who died in November 2020 at the age of 60, said: “It was like beating a country, not a football team.”

Hodge has owned the shirt ever since the famous match, but it's spent the last 20 years on loan at the National Football Museum in Manchester.

Marcelo Ordas, an Argentinian football collector has been speaking after the auction: 'Very sad...It definitely needs to go to Argentina, because it's a part of our culture.'

Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s head of streetwear and modern collectables, 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.”