Hodge: 'I have no idea if Maradona has still got my shirt'

Twenty-five years after World Cup heartache, Steve Hodge talks about that goal, that game and that jersey

It is 25 years ago today that Diego Maradona scored one goal with his hand and another courtesy of his genius to eliminate England from the Mexico World Cup finals of 1986, and there are few better from that England team to recall the day than Steve Hodge.

Hodge, now 48, was the man whose backpass Maradona punched past Peter Shilton for the "Hand of God" goal on 50 minutes. He is also the owner of the Argentinian captain's No 10 shirt from that day which is valued in memorabilia terms on a par with Bobby Moore's lost 1966 World Cup final shirt and Pele's 1970 Brazil jersey.

Despite a very decent playing career, Hodge, now the under-16s coach at Nottingham Forest, the club where he spent the majority of his career, is forever linked with that game, that first Maradona goal and that shirt – to the extent that he has embraced it, entitling his autobiography "The Man With Maradona's Shirt". A revised paperback edition is due out next month.

Speaking to The Independent yesterday, Hodge said that he is most commonly asked by fans whether his pass back to Shilton – in the days before the backpass was banned – was intended. "I tell them that it was, I hit it with my strong left foot on the right side of the ball with the intention that it would spin back. It was a slice but it was an intended slice. I just thought that the goalkeeper would pick it up and we would squeeze up.

"For his second goal you can see me on the footage just two or three yards behind him after he is challenged on the halfway line at the start of his run. I thought I would tuck in and get back and that someone would hold him up and we could regroup. But you could see he was getting at the back four too easily and then it was down to the goalkeeper. The dummy he sold Shilton was brilliant."

Despite the first goal, Hodge says he bears Maradona no malice – "there is no hatred, if anything I blame the Bulgarian linesman for not spotting it". He had played against him a year earlier in a friendly for Forest against Barcelona when Maradona was sensational on what Hodge remembers as a "terrible" Nou Camp pitch. Later in the tunnel Brian Clough made good on a threat to grab Maradona "by the balls".

The shirt swap happened because Hodge was delayed leaving the pitch by an ITV interview. "I was walking down the tunnel and Maradona was coming in the opposite direction. I just tugged my shirt and we swapped there and then. I have no idea if he has still got mine. I did an interview this year with a Brazilian TV crew and they have promised to find out."

The shirt is currently on display in Nottingham castle alongside Torvill and Dean's Bolero costumes from their 1984 Winter Olympics gold-medal performance. It will be relocated to the new national football museum in Manchester's Urbis this year. "I didn't get it for its monetary value, I did it because he was a great player and I was pleased to have it," Hodge said. "I have had a few sniffs over the years to sell it but I have never wanted to let it go."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
News
Bobbi Kristina Brown, daughter of the late singer Whitney Houston, poses at the premiere of
people
News
people
News
The frequency with which we lie and our ability to get away with it both increase to young adulthood then decline with age, possibly because of changes that occur in the brain
scienceRoger Dobson knows the true story, from Pinocchio to Pollard
Voices
The male menopause: those affected can suffer hot flushes, night sweats, joint pain, low libido, depression and an increase in body fat, among other symptoms
voicesSo the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Life and Style
health
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen
RuPaul interview: The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head

RuPaul interview

The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head