Sotheby's hails record-breaking fee paid for famous Diego Maradona shirt

The iconic Argentina shirt worn by Diego Maradona when his two goals knocked England out of the 1986 World Cup has sold for a record-breaking fee at Sotheby's.

The fee is the highest paid for any sports memorabilia and evokes memories of the Argentina superstar's 'Hand of God' goal and 'goal of the century' to secure a 2-1 win and send Bobby Robson's men out of the Mexico showpiece at the quarter-finals stage.

Hodge had the misfortune of flicking the ball up for Maradona to score his 'Hand of God' goal - in which he punched the ball past goalkeeper Peter Shilton - before the Barcelona and Napoli legend etched himself into football history when dribbling past a host of England players to net a spectacular solo goal to double Argentina's lead.

The former England midfielder, Steve Hodge, claimed he had swapped shirts with Maradona, who died in November 2020, in the tunnel at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City and had owned it since.

Diego Maradona dances his way past England's Peter Reid

The famous blue number 10 jersey went under the hammer at Sotheby's on Wednesday for an eye-watering £7,142,500 to make history as the most expensive item of sports memorabilia ever sold.

Brahm Wachter, Sotheby's head of streetwear and modern collectables, said: "This historic shirt is a tangible reminder of an important moment not only in the history of sports, but in the history of the 20th century.

"In the weeks since we announced the auction we have been inundated by sports fans and collectors alike, with a palpable excitement in the air for the duration of the public exhibition - and this unfiltered enthusiasm was echoed in the bidding.

"This is arguably the most coveted football shirt to ever come to auction, and so it is fitting that it now holds the auction record for any object of its kind."

The fee surpasses the previous record of $5.6million (£4.4million) for a shirt sale in 2019 when a jersey worn by New York Yankees legend Babe Ruth went under the hammer.

It also eclipses the auction record set for sports memorabilia of $8.8million paid in 2019 for the original autographed manuscript of the Olympic Manifesto from 1892.

Diego Maradona celebrates Argentina's World Cup win

Maradona scored both goals as Argentina beat Belgium 2-0 in the 1986 World Cup semi-finals before they went on to beat West Germany 3-2 in the final.

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