The shirt worn by Argentina’s 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 both the previous record for a game-worn jersey, which was $5.64 million paid in 2019 for Babe Ruth’s 1928-1930 New York Yankees jersey, and the record price for a piece. sports memorabilia, which stood at $8.8 million. for the original hand-drawn Olympic manifesto that was sold in 2019 in New York.
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Maradona wore the shirt in the quarter-final against England in 1986 in which he scored both of Argentina’s goals in a 2-1 win. The first was the famous “Hand of God” goal, in which he patted the ball past England goalkeeper Peter Shilton. Maradona, who died in November 2020, had said the goal was “a bit from Maradona’s head, and a bit 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 through the England team and passed it to Shilton to give Argentina a 2-0 lead. He was later named Goal of the Century by FIFA.
Steve Hodge, the former England midfielder, swapped shirts with Maradona after the 1986 match. He had previously turned down potential offers for the shirt, 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.
“This historic jersey is a tangible reminder of an important moment not only in sports history, but also in the history of the 20th century,” said Brahm Wachter, head of modern streetwear and collectibles at Sotheby’s. “In the weeks since we announced the auction, we have been inundated by sports fans and collectors alike, with excitement palpable in the air during the public display, and this unfiltered enthusiasm was echoed in the bidding. This is the most coveted football shirt ever auctioned, so it’s fitting that it now holds the auction record for anything of its kind.”
Sotheby’s placed an estimate of $5 million to $7.5 million on the jersey, and within hours of the auction opening on April 21, there was a first bid of $4.99 million. Once the buyer’s premium, general premium and taxes were factored in, the price topped the previous record of $5.64 million on Ruth’s shirt.
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 jersey Maradona wore in the first half of that 1986 match, 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 it was the “Hand of God” shirt. The buyer will remain anonymous, and auctioneer Brahm Wachter told ESPN that “whoever buys it, [the jersey] It will probably never come to the surface again.”
This auction comes just a month after an unnamed 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 expect a further boom in demand for match-used sticks. shirts, specifically soccer, for the next few months.