Diego Maradona’s Hand of God shirt: Peter Shilton says he would have ripped it up

  • Rob Swan
Peter Shilton still hasn’t forgiven Diego Maradona - says he would have ripped up £7m shirt

Peter Shilton says he would have ripped up Diego Maradona’s famous ‘Hand of God’ shirt that was sold for £7.1 million this week.

Shilton, 72, was the goalkeeper Maradona out-jumped during the 1986 World Cup quarter-final classic between England and Argentina in Mexico.

Despite their significant height difference, 5ft 5in Maradona managed to rise higher than 6ft Shilton before punching the ball into the net with his fist.

None of the match officials spotted the handball and the goal, arguably the most controversial in football history, was allowed to stand.

Maradona Shilton Hand of God
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO – JUNE 22: Argentina player Diego Maradona outjumps England goalkeeper Peter Shilton to score with his ‘Hand of God’ goal as England defenders Kenny Sansom (top) Gary Stevens (c) and Terry Fenwick look on during the 1986 FIFA World Cup Quarter Final at the Azteca Stadium on June 22, 1986 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Allsport/Getty Images)

Four minutes later, Maradona scored one of the greatest goals of all time, dribbling past a host of England players, including Shilton, before sticking the ball in the net. It was voted as FIFA’s Goal of the Century in 2002.

Shilton has remained bitter ever since and is still yet to forgive Maradona, who died at the age of 60 in November 2020.

The retired ‘keeper and his England teammates were unaware that midfielder Steve Hodge had swapped shirts with Maradona at the end of the match.

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Hodge, who played the full 90 minutes against Argentina, insisted he had no plans to sell Maradona’s shirt following the football legend’s untimely death.

But the shirt fetched an astonishing £7.1 million at auction earlier this week – the highest price ever paid for a piece of sports memorabilia. 

Diego Maradona's Hand of God shirt
LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 20: Sotheby’s New Bond Street exhibition of Diego Maradona’s Historic 1986 World Cup Match-Worn Shirt opens to the public at Sotheby’s on April 20, 2022 in London, England. The shirt was worn both during ‘The Hand of God’ and ‘Goal of the Century’ goals, as shown by Resolution Photomatching. The online auction opened this morning, with a first bid now placed on the lot for £4 million, bidding remains open until 4 May. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for Sotheby’s)

Peter Shilton: I would have ripped up Maradona’s shirt

“I wouldn’t have swapped with Maradona for all the tea in China for what happened on the day,” Shilton, who has more more appearances for England than any other player in history, told The Sun.

“I wouldn’t even use it around the house, not even to clean the dishes in my bungalow.

“If myself and a few of the other players had known Hodgey had his shirt in the dressing room then it wouldn’t have made it out.

“In the heat of the game, it would have been ripped up into a thousand pieces — and I bet Hodgey is happy now we didn’t do that.

“He knew what he was doing when he didn’t tell us he had it.

“Looking back, I bet he is glad we didn’t find out.

“We were very angry, it’s just as well we didn’t. I’m just glad one Englishman has got something out of the game.”

Maradona's Hand of God goal shirt
LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 20: Sotheby’s New Bond Street exhibition of Diego Maradona’s Historic 1986 World Cup Match-Worn Shirt opens to the public at Sotheby’s on April 20, 2022 in London, England. The shirt was worn both during ‘The Hand of God’ and ‘Goal of the Century’ goals, as shown by Resolution Photomatching. The online auction opened this morning, with a first bid now placed on the lot for £4 million, bidding remains open until 4 May. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for Sotheby’s)

How does Shilton feel about Steve Hodge selling Maradona’s shirt?

How does Shilton feel about Hodge cashing in on Maradona’s shirt?

Because he feels it represents some sort of payback towards Argentina, who reportedly wanted Hodge to sell the shirt to them, he’s rather happy about it.

“We’ve had the last laugh. It’s poetic justice for being cheated out of that World Cup,” Shilton added. “It’s the best bit of business any footballer has ever done.

“None of us could have ever dreamed it would be worth that much.”

“I was captain on the day — it still hurts me now. All I was interested in was winning the World Cup, it never occurred to me to change shirts with Maradona, but looking at how much it has sold for, maybe I should have.

“Hodgey’s always got stick over the years; how could he think about changing shirts with him when he cheated.

“I’m pleased for him. He has got payback for us all.

“He’s made a huge amount of money from Maradona cheating against us. It’s a fortune for what was one of the hardest games of my career.”

Peter Shilton
BURTON-UPON-TRENT, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 03: In this handout image provided by The FA, Peter Shilton poses during the FA England Awards 2013 at St. George’s Park on February 3, 2013 in Burton-upon-Trent, England. (Photo by The FA/The FA via Getty Images)

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