Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ football to star in World Cup auction

The 2022 FIFA World Cup is just around the corner, which means it’s time for England’s football fans to start reliving – once again – agonising defeats of the past.

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The match ball used for used for the “Hand of God” game, Argentina v England FIFA World Cup Quarter-Final played at the Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, 22nd June 1986, was used for the entire 90 minutes of the game. That means it was played both by Diego Maradona and Gary Lineker (his point in the match won him the Golden Boot) in a game both fabulous and controversial. Auctioneers have high hopes for the ball: it has an estimate of £2.5m-3m.

Graham Budd Auctions, a specialist in sporting memorabilia, holds a World Cup Auction on November 16. There it is possible to get your hands (pun intended) on legendary items such as the match ball used in the Argentina v England World Cup quarter-final game.

There are also posters, tickets, signed shirts and players’ caps to vie for.

It’s been quite a year for sports memorabilia. England footballer Steve Hodge sold the shirt he got in a swap with Maradona after the Hand of God match in May and it set a new World Record for an item of sports memorabilia $9.3m. That high watermark has already been exceeded twice. First Michael Jordan’s “The Last Dance” basketball jersey reached $10.1m, while a Mickey Mantle baseball card went for $12.6.

The current World Record auction price for a sports ball is $3.0million paid for Mark McGwire's 70th home run baseball, which has stood since January 1999. How will this auction – which includes the famous – or infamous – Hand of God football measure up?

It is set to be the highlight of the auction, but for those with less buying power, there are still nostalgic and collectable wonders to be found.

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A rare poster for the first World Cup held in Uruguay in 1930. Designed by Guillermo Laborde (1886-1940), the lithographic print has an estimate of £8000-10,000.

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Many of the lots in the sale are more achievable but promise to bring in plenty of interest. Estimated at £220-250, this ticket for the 1958 World Cup final in Stockholm – Sweden v Brazil – is already bid to nearly double the estimate a week before the auction.

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Deemed to be the official image for the those-were-the-days 1966 World Cup, this poster shows Willie the Lion booting the football into the air and has an estimate of £400-600.

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Several other match balls will go under the hammer at Graham Budd. This Adidas Brazuca from the 2014 World Cup was played in the Italy v Uruguay Group D match. It has an estimate of £500-700.

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