A FATHER-OF-THREE has called the family together in the dining room and announced, with tears streaking his face, that he has forgiven Maradona.
Steve Malley told his wife, daughter and two sons that the fury that had raged in his heart for the last 34 years had finally burnt out, and that it was time to let it go.
Jack Malley, 25, said: “He said that the act itself was unforgivable. That he wasn’t going to give ground on that. But that he couldn’t hold onto his grudge against the man who performed it any longer.
“Dad admitted he would always bear the scars of what was taken from him at the tender age of 28 in that quarter-final. That it had shaped him as a man and a father for the worse.
“Then he said – he had his eyes closed, he couldn’t look at us – that what kept his anger alive all these years wasn’t just the injustice, but the envy. That we didn’t truly deserve to win with Steve Hodge and Trevor Steven in midfield.
“Finally he hugged us all, weeping and muttering ‘He was a genius. I’ve never seen a more naturally talented player. All these years. I’m so ashamed.’ Then he went to the shed.”
Daughter Kelly said: “Yeah. It was basically Christmas Day 2016, when he tearfully confessed he’d lied about not liking George Michael because he was afraid he’d look gay.”