Former Leeds United midfielder becomes multi-millionaire with a £7m-plus windfall

Former Leeds United midfielder Steve Hodge has sold Diego Maradona's 'Hand of God' shirt for £7,142,500 at auction.

By Graham Smyth
Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 6:35 pm

The staggering sum for the Argentina shirt, worn by the late icon Maradona when he scored two of his most famous goals in a 1986 World Cup win over in England, is a record for an item of sporting memorabilia.

Maradona scored with his hand, outjumping Three Lions keeper Peter Shilton, then dribbled past a host of England players to score an equally unforgettable second. He swapped shirts with Hodge after the game.

"I have been the proud owner of this item for over 35 years, since Diego and I swapped shirts in the tunnel after the famed match. It was an absolute privilege to have played against one of the greatest and most magnificent football players of all time," said Hodge.

Sign up to our Leeds United newsletter

"It has also been a pleasure to share it with the public over the last 20 years at the National Football Museum, where it has been on display."

Hodge, who arrived at Elland Road in a £900,000 deal in the summer of 1991 and made a dozen starts during the First Division title-winning campaign, scoring seven goals, had maintained for years that the shirt was not for sale.

Speaking after Maradona died in 2020 he told BBC Nottingham: "I have had it for 34 years and have never once tried to sell it. I like having it. It has incredible sentimental value.

"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.

RECORD BREAKER - Steve Hodge sold Maradona's 'Hand of God' Argentina shirt at auction, earning the ex-Leeds United midfielder a sum of just over £7m. Pic: Getty

"It has been uncomfortable and it hasn't been nice. 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. It's not for sale."

But a change in heart led to an auction at at Sotheby’s and a remarkable windfall for the 59-year-old.