The day Diego Maradona played for Tottenham at White Hart Lane

Tom Doyle
·3-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Diego Maradona was without a doubt one of the greatest footballers to ever grace the beautiful game.

Maradona, who died at the age of 60 on Wednesday, inspires Argentina to World Cup glory in 1986, and was also a legend for Napoli, Barcelona, Boca Juniors and more.

While Maradona’s 'Hand of God' goal against England in the 1986 quarter-finals may have earned him infamy among many Three Lions fans, it is nonetheless a shame that English crowds did not get to see him more regularly at club level.

But one club lucky enough to have seen him in action in their very own shirt was Tottenham when Maradona turned out for Spurs in the testimonial of close friend Ossie Ardiles back in 1986.

Ardiles reflected on his friend’s passing on Twitter, posting a photo of himself and his two sons along with Maradona at White Hart Lane: "Diego with my two sons... still in shock.

“Very very sad but I'm sure Dieguito have peace now. Prayers and thoughts with his family and friends.”

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Getty Images

Regarding the testimonial, Maradona played in front of 30,000-plus Spurs fans at White Hart Lane against Inter Milan in May 1986 - though he came unprepared and had to borrow a pair of Clive Allen’s boots.

Allen told talkSPORT: “Ossie says: ‘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!'”

Glenn Hoddle, who played alongside Maradona in midfield as Spurs won 2-1, previously told the club’s website: "The sheer magnetism of Maradona lifted the whole atmosphere. A staggering 30,000-plus crowd turned up for the match, and the kick-off had to be delayed for 15 minutes to allow all the thousands of fans in.

"Maradona and Ossie entered the stadium after the two teams to thunderous applause. It was clear the public were enthralled to have the chance to see a player of Maradona’s special skills, and he didn’t disappoint them.

"Of course he did not extend himself to the full, but I am a player whose philosophy is built around skilful football and I could not but admire this stocky little genius."

Chris Waddle, who also played in the game, said: "I’ve never seen a better footballer. Never. He was by far the best player I’ve ever played with.

Getty Images
Getty Images

"In the game he did a couple of nice runs and a bicycle kick; he was quite quiet, but when you had the ball you knew you could give it to him and there wouldn’t be any problems. His touch was amazing and he was so strong. His change of pace and change of direction were incredible.”

“In the game he did a couple of nice runs and a bicycle kick; he was quite quiet, but when you had the ball you knew you could give it to him and there wouldn’t be any problems. His touch was amazing and he was so strong. His change of pace and change of direction were incredible.”

Maradona went on to star for Argentina at the World Cup later that summer, guiding them to glory.

The legend also returned to White Hart Lane in 2017 along with Adriles, meeting then-managerMauricio Pochettino and his coaching staff along with Harry Kane and Hugo Lloris.

Kane tweeted his condolences following the news of Maradona’s death, writing: "Privileged to have met him. Very sad news. RIP Diego Maradona."

Spurs also added: “One of the greatest to ever grace our beautiful game. Farewell, Diego”.

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