The man who played for Spurs has died: Diego Maradona
Ok, it might have only been a Spurs Testimonial (Ossie’s), but at least he played for us, be it only one game. I was at that game, I also saw him play for The Rest of the World v The Football League at the old Wembley stadium.
Football legend Diego Maradona, one of the greatest players of all time, has died at the age of 60. The former Argentina attacking midfielder suffered a heart attack at his Buenos Aires home.
He had surgery on the brain (a blood clot) a couple of weeks ago and was to be treated for alcohol dependency.
Maradona was captain when Argentina won the 1986 World Cup, scoring the famous ‘Hand of God’ goal against England in the quarter-finals.
In a statement on social media, the Argentine Football Association expressed “its deepest sorrow for the death of our legend”, adding: “You will always be in our hearts.”
Argentian are declaring three days of national mourning, Alberto Fernandez, the president of Argentina, said: “You took us to the top of the world. You made us immensely happy. You were the greatest of them all. “Thank you for having existed, Diego. We’re going to miss you all our lives.”
Diego played for Barcelona and Napoli during his club career, winning two Serie A titles with the Italian side. He scored 34 goals in 91 appearances for Argentina, representing them in four World Cups.
The Day Maradona Played For Spurs
Ossie Ardiles Benefit match
May 1st 1986
Spurs v Inter Milan. 2-1 to Spurs. Falco and Clive Allen scored for us.
I remember the day that Diego Maradona pulled on a Spurs shirt and took the field at White Hart Lane some 34 years ago (I was about 31).
Diego Maradona had gone out of his way to turn-out and support his friend Ossie Ardiles in his testimonial game.
For Diego to play for us was an impressive coup, undeniably the greatest player in the world at that time, so to stop off in London on his way home from an international match and then don a Lilywhite shirt in honour of his friend was brilliant news for us fans.
However, not everything went smoothly. Maradona was forced to borrow a pair of boots from Clive Allen after turning up without any of his own.
Recounting the pre-match discussion, Allen later told Kick-Off:
Ossie said: ‘Who takes size six-and-a-half?’. I tell him I do and that I had two pairs of boots; one old pair I’d worn all season and a new pair I was breaking in, so I said: ‘Diego, be my guest and take whatever pair you want!’
Maradona plumped for the older pair, favouring the softer leather. Allen went on to score the winning goal in a 2-1 victory for Spurs, but admitted that he spent the entire match feeling like a “spectator” while getting to watch the little master weave his magic at close-quarters.
Mark Falco scored Tottenham’s opening goal, while Liam Brady equalised for Inter.
As I remember it; it was a great evening. I had left early to go to the match (from Berkshire). I can’t remember if I went with friends or met friends up at White Hart Lane, but once there I went to a pub, got something to eat and we talked about seeing one of the worlds great players playing for our great team. After the game, I was on cloud nine. Weeks after, the conservation at work was just about seeing the great Maradona. I probably bored everybody to death. Those were the days!
The match itself was a spectacular and a beauty to behold. As I said at the beginning of this article, this wasn’t the only time I saw him. But once seen never forgotten. God Bless him.
Best regards, Glenn