Maradona’s £7million shirt & 5 other stupidly pricey memorabilia items
Diego Maradona’s famous ‘Hand of God’ shirt has been sold at an auction for £7,142,500, becoming the most expensive item of football memorabilia of all time in the process.
Plenty of clubs will spend less than that on actual players, complete with shirts, shorts, socks, boots and all.
But some bits of football memorabilia are worthy of their stratospheric cost. We’ve taken a look at six of the most expensive.
Maradona’s shirt – £7.14m
As previously mentioned, the shirt worn by Maradona as he infamously palmed the ball into England’s net in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final is now by far and away the priciest piece of memorabilia.
It’s a stylish number, too: the light and dark blue stripes, teamed with the gold v-neck and the silvery grey 10 emblazoned on the back.
And if you look closely, you can just about make out some of Peter Shilton’s tears.
“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,” Brahm Wachter, head of streetwear and modern collectables at Sotheby’s, told Sky Sports.
“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.”
Football rulebook – £881,250
The first-ever rulebook in the sport’s history fetched almost a million quid back in 2011.
It came from Sheffield FC, the first-ever club, and dated back to 1857.
Before then, football was a lawless, chaotic free-for-all, but the introduction of rules like indirect free kicks, corners and the use of a crossbar helped bring some order to the game.
Handball was still perfectly legal, though. Maradona would’ve loved it.
The FA Cup – £759,062
For about as much as Cristiano Ronaldo earns in a week, you could have got yourself the second edition of the FA Cup trophy in 2005.
That was what West Ham co-owner David Gold did. Fifteen years later, he decided to sell it, making a handy £759,062.
The trophy was used between 1896 and 1910, won first by Sheffield Wednesday and later by Manchester City, Manchester United, Everton, Newcastle, Tottenham, Nottingham Forest and Sheffield United.
Jules Rimet World Cup replica – £254,500
The Jules Rimet trophy has had the kind of adventures that could be made into a film.
It was hidden in a shoebox during World War Two, stolen in the 60s and then stolen again in the 80s.
The actual trophy remains missing in action, though FIFA, when they paid £254,500 at an auction in 1997, wrongly assumed they were getting the real thing.
It was, in actual fact, a replica, which had been created by the FA to use in exhibitions. Nobody knows where the true Jules Rimet trophy, awarded to winners of the World Cup between 1930 and 1970, really is.
The replica, though, is safely on display at the National Football Museum in Manchester.
Alan Ball’s World Cup winners medal – £164,800
Being part of England’s only World Cup-winning team came with plenty of rewards.
For many, the medal from that day in 1966 would have been too precious to let go of, but Alan Ball looked at things pragmatically.
“I have three children and three grandchildren, and the most important thing for me is to make sure that they are looked after as well as possible,” he said after selling the medal for £164,800 in 2005.
“Winning the World Cup in 1966 will stay with me forever, but it is time to look to the future, not the past.”
The youngest member of the England team that lifted the trophy sadly died in 2007, though his thoughtfulness undoubtedly set his grandchildren on the right path.
Sir Geoff Hurst England World Cup shirt – £91,750
The shirt worn by Sir Geoff Hurst in the 1966 final was, it goes without saying, an in-demand piece of memorabilia.
The £91,750 price tag didn’t come from an auction, though. Hurst himself sold the shirt to an unknown buyer in 2000, afraid that it might be stolen from his home.
It was sold on to a collector soon after, and his later attempts to sell the shirt at auction – for a starting price of £300,000 – were unsuccessful.
The divinity of Maradona’s Hand of God shirt, it seems, can’t be equalled.