Peter Shilton, the England goalkeeper and captain at the 1986 World Cup, has ruled out forgiving Argentine legend, Diego Maradona, unless he apologizes for the infamous “Hand of God” goal in the quarter-final clash at the tournament, which held in Mexico. Shilton disclosed this in an interview published on Wednesday by UK newspaper, The Guardian. Shilton is often remembered as the victim of the unspotted illegal goal, scored with the cunning Argentine’s hand.
“I did everything I could and the famous photo shows that I’m closer to the ball than his head. That’s why he punched it in with this hand. You always have people saying: ‘Oh, he out-jumped you.’ He didn’t out-jump me. He cheated,” he said.
Shilton turned down a request from Maradona a few years ago to appear alongside him on a television programme because of the hurt he still nurses from the match.
“I always took that stance because I was brought up to respect the game. I’ve seen other players cheat, admit to it and apologise. But his attitude explains why there’s animosity. We’ve been offered a number of times to put it to bed. But he won’t apologise, and I won’t shake hands with him or acknowledge him. I always say he’s the greatest player in history but I don’t respect him as a sportsman and I never will,” he said defiantly.
England would go on to lose the match 1-2, with Maradona scoring a second, which saw him beating five England players before ghosting away from Shilton.
“It was typical of what he could do. But we weren’t in the right frame of mind after what happened. When you know someone’s cheating, in a big match like that, your stomach drops. So we weren’t quite tuned in to our defending after that but I have to say, before the ball broke to Maradona, Glenn Hoddle was fouled. But you can’t take anything away from him. Maradona did what he’s capable of doing,” admitted the England goalkeeping legend.