The famous “Hand of God” shirt Diego Maradona wore as he schemed and skilled his way past England in the quarter-final of the 1986 World Cup will not be sold, according to its owner Steve Hodge.
Former England midfielder Hodge faced Maradona during the infamous clash at the Mexico World Cup, which saw the Three Lions eliminated by Argentina after their legendary forward scored perhaps the two most famous goals of all time – his iconic solo run through England’s entire defence, and his infamous handball which was later dubbed the “Hand of God”.
Clearly not put off by the nature in which Maradona had led Argentina to victory, Hodge swapped shirts with him after the match and has held onto the famous jersey ever since.
Maradona sadly passed away last week and according to Hodge, that has resulted in him being inundated with calls and messages from people eager to take the shirt off his hands, as well as requests from the media.
“I’ve had people knocking on my door non-stop and the phone’s constantly ringing from every TV and radio station, and even foreign stations,” Hodge told BBC Radio Nottingham.
“It has been uncomfortable and it hasn’t been nice. I have seen articles on the internet and there has been a bit of flak flying around saying I wanted a million or two million and am hawking it around for money.
“I find it disrespectful and totally wrong.”
The shirt has reportedly been valued at a staggering $2m – which equates to £1.48m – however Hodge insists that he has no intention of cashing in on one of the most iconic pieces of football memorabilia in the world today.
“I have had it for 34 years and have never once tried to sell it. I like having it. It has incredible sentimental value.” Hodge later added: “It’s not for sale. I am not trying to sell it.”
Now there’s a man with a lot less financial worries than me. If you are interested in spending $2m on a football shirt any time soon, it appears you’ll have to look elsewhere.