Retro Football: Diego Maradona Turns Out For Tottenham In Ossie Ardiles’ Testimonial, 1986 (Photos & Video)

Chris Wright

23rd, October 2017

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Seeing Diego Maradona holding a Tottenham shirt aloft at Wembley on Sunday instantly brought memories flooding back for fans of a certain vintage.

Of course, Maradona has previous when it comes to Spurs – the only English club he ever played for during his career, and even then in a non-competitive capacity.

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May 1986, and Ossie Ardiles was coming to the end of his 10-year stint with Spurs. To pay homage, the club laid on a benefit match for their Argentinian idol, booking Inter Milan to provide the continental opposition.

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Spurs also managed the still-impressive coup of roping in Diego Maradona, undeniably the greatest player in the world at that time, to stop off in London on his way home to from an international match in Norway and don the Lilywhite shirt in honour of his compatriot and friend.

As the well-trodden anecdote goes, 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.

Here’s some great archive footage from a memorable evening, with a surprisingly plummy-sounding Martin Tyler on commentary duty…

At the tail end of the video, Tyler asks Maradona if he expected any issues should England be pitted against Argentina in the upcoming World Cup in Mexico.

Diego says no.