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England World Cup hero to re-live 'Hand of God' goal in Lancaster

Diego Maradona scores the notorious 'Hand of God' goal for Argentina against England in World Cup '86

A former England footballer will re-live the infamous 'Hand of God' World Cup match when he is guest of honour at a sportsman's dinner in Lancaster.

Steve Hodge, who played in the England v Argentina match in the 1986 World Cup, will appear at Squires Pool and Sports Bar on Thursday November 17.

Midfielder Steve will tell his first-hand story of how Argentina captain Diego Maradona notoriously punched the ball past goalkeeper Peter Shilton into the England net just yards from him, after Hodge had mistakenly hooked the ball into the England penalty area.

The illegal handball, which was missed by both the referee and linesmen, put Argentina 1-0 up that day in Mexico City, and they went on to win 2-1 in the quarter-final before going on to lift the trophy.

Maradona, when asked about the goal afterwards, said it was down to 'the Hand of God'.

Hodge (pictured below), who also swapped shirts with Maradona after the match, started the game that day for England having come into the side when the team was struggling in the first round.

He was then instrumental in helping to transform the team's fortunes as they beat Poland and Paraguay, both by three goals to nil, before being eliminated by Argentina.

Hodge also enjoyed a successful club career, playing under Brian Clough in the talented Nottingham Forest team of the 80s and 90s.

He also played for Tottenham, Aston Villa, Leeds and other clubs during his 18-year professional career.

Steve decided to sell Maradona's jersey in May 2022 at an auction. It sold for £7 million, so Steve will undoubtedly be mentioning that on Thursday evening, along with some other fascinating stories about his footballing career.

Tickets remain available for the evening, which is organised by Slyne-with-Hest FC. It is £20 per ticket which includes a hotpot supper.

Comedian John Gillian will also be in attendance on the night.

People can contact Dave Passant (07775 777835), Mick Hoyle (07860 688104) or Gavin Clark (07934 376395) for more information and to book tickets.

Dave Passant, Slyne-with-Hest’s club secretary told Beyond Radio that the Maradona auction story was a reason for choosing him as the speaker but his football career was also a factor.

Squires are themselves hosting an auction on the night and Dave said “the auction items will tend to be shirts of northern football teams such as Manchester United and Liverpool, signed balls, boxing memorabilia such as gloves and they will all be there on the night.”

Slyne-with-Hest are currently having a good time on the pitch and recently beat Turton FC 4-0 in the Lancashire Amateur Shield to progress to the quarter final. They reached the final of the tournament last season but were beaten by Fulwood Amateurs FC. Their next game is in the second round of the Richardson Cup away versus Eagley FC.

They are currently fifth and unbeaten at home in the West Lancashire League Premier Division – the eleventh tier of English football.

“It’s been a good start to the season," said Dave.

"At the beginning of the season, players were still on annual leave and had other commitments but now we’ve got a near full squad we’re doing well.

“As a club, we don’t charge gate receipts but we have sponsors and make our money through sportsman’s dinners, raffles and monthly 100 Club draws.”

As for junior teams, they have an under 15s side who last season won the Lancashire Cup and the Lancaster & Morecambe Service to Youth League. When the team reach under-16 level, the club will be signing the vast majority to their senior team to keep them on the books.

The club are currently trying to extend their clubhouse for after-game events but have had planning permission turned down twice. They are also hopeful of setting up a second team in the near future and there is a chance the club could potentially bring some of the current under-15 crop into the prospective second team as a “natural progression”.

The sportsman’s dinner with Steve Hodge starts at 7.30pm at the Church Street venue.

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