Peter Shilton should probably have cut short his article on Diego Maradona.
As tributes poured in for Diego Maradona, who passed away aged 60 on Wednesday, many were curious to see how Peter Shilton would respond to the tragic news.
Shilton dedicated an entire piece in the Daily Mail to his career-long link with Maradona as the former England goalkeeper was the man between the sticks when Argentina’s talisman scored his famous Hand of God goal in the 1986 World Cup.
Shilton admitted that he was “saddened to hear of his passing at such a young age” and that’s probably where he should have left it but, instead, the 71-year-old reminded readers that Maradona cheated in the World Cup quarter-final and claimed that his iconic solo run for Argentina’s second wouldn’t have taken place if he hadn’t handled the ball for the game’s opener.
— Siddhant Anand (@JournoSiddhant) November 25, 2020
Shilton wrote: “None of us expected what happened next. How could we? He challenged me for a high, looping ball, but knew he wouldn’t get it with his head, so he punched it into the net. A clear offence. Cheating.
“As he ran away to celebrate he even looked back twice, as if waiting for the referee’s whistle. He knew what he had done. Everybody did — apart from the referee and two linesmen. I don’t care what anybody says, it won the game for Argentina. He scored a brilliant second almost immediately, but we were still reeling from what had happened minutes earlier.
This wasn’t just the greatest goal of all time. This was the moment Diego Maradona’s Argentina flicked the bird to England just 4 years after the war. pic.twitter.com/42BHEkoDyj
— Scot Williams (@scotwilliams) November 25, 2020
“For the first time in the game, we let him get a run on us and he scored. It was a great goal but we were in no doubt — without the first goal he would not have scored the second.”
Shilton expanded on his relationship with Maradona and revealed that he is still irked by the fact that the Argentine never apologised.
The goalkeeper insisted that Maradona lacked sportsmanship in his comments that were not exactly tactfully timed.
“What I don’t like is that he never apologised,” Shilton continued. “Never at any stage did he say he had cheated and that he would like to say sorry. Instead, he used his ‘Hand of God’ line. That wasn’t right.
“It seems he had greatness in him but sadly no sportsmanship.
“Over the years, there were a few attempts to get the two of us together in the same room.
“My approach to that was always the same — that I would be happy to do it if I thought he was going to apologise. I would have shaken his hand. But I was never given any indication that was likely to happen.”