Hodge, who made 24 appearances for the Three Lions, recalled the meeting with Maradona in an interview with FIFA. “I thought, I won’t be here again. I’ll try and get a shirt,” he said.
“I shook Maradona’s hand. He was being mobbed by his team-mates. So I thought, ’There’s no point, just leave it.’”
Hodge then had a second chance encounter with Maradona after speaking to the media. “After the interview, I went down, behind the goal, to the changing rooms. And as I went down, Maradona was walking with two of his team-mates,” he added.
“I looked him in the eye, tugged on my shirt as if to say ’any chance of swapping?’, and he came straight across, motioned a prayer, and we exchanged shirts. And that was it. It was just as simple as that.”
In the past, Hodge has claimed the famous shirt from the World Cup quarter-final game was not for sale. “I have had it for 34 years and have never once tried to sell it,” Hodge told BBC Radio Nottingham in 2020.
“I like having it. It has incredible sentimental value.
But after 35 years of treasuring the jersey, former Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest midfielder has decided to auction it off, with Sotheby’s valuing ‘The Hand of God’ & ‘Goal of the Century’ World Cup match worn shirt at £4,000,000 – 6,000,000.
“I have been the proud owner of this item for over 35 years,” Hodge said. “It has deep cultural meaning to the football world, and I’m certain that the new owner will have immense pride in owning the world’s most iconic football shirt.”
Steve Hodge swapped shirts with Diego Maradona after the infamous World Cup clash between England and Argentina in 1986.
He’s finally selling the shirt and it has an estimate of $5.2m 🤯 pic.twitter.com/wMHg4EuPlk
— FUN88 (@fun88eng) April 6, 2022
The unique item has certainly peaked huge public interest from around the world but now, Maradona‘s eldest daughter, Dalma, has claimed the purported ‘Hand of God’ shirt is actually from the first-half of the 1986 World Cup.
Maradona, of course, scored both of his famous goals in the second-half of that clash against England.
Speaking on Argentine station Radio Metro, Dalma said her father had changed shirts at half-time because of the high temperatures in the Azteca Stadium.
“That ex-England player thinks he’s got my dad’s second-half shirt but there’s a confusion,” she said. “He has the first-half top. I wanted to explain that to people so that whoever wants to buy it knows the truth.”
Dalma was then asked about the whereabouts of the second-half shirt. “My mum hasn’t got it. I know who has but I’m not going to say who’s got it so as not to expose that person,” she said.
“All I can say is that the one that’s being auctioned is not the one my dad scored his goals with.”
On their official website, Sotheby’s say part of the challenge in evaluating the shirt was pinpointing the shirt to the two historic goals from the 1986 World Cup quarter-final.
And as part of this endeavor, they worked with Resolution Photomatching in order to match the shirt to both goals examining unique details on various elements of the item, including the patch, stripes and numbering.
Resolution Photomatching was able to make a conclusive photomatch to the celebration following “The Hand of God” goal.
In fact, Resolution Photomatching determined that Maradona switched shirts during the match, but that Maradona did wear this shirt for both historic goals in the second half of the match.