When talkSPORT opens the phone lines to football fans, you never quite know what you’re going to get…

But no one, literally no one, could have predicted the stunning twist this classic call took.

Hilarious and horrifying in equal measure, Mark called in to speak to hosts Max Rushden and Perry Groves about Diego Maradona’s infamous Hand of God – 31 years after the scandal.

Argentina legend Diego Maradona scores the Hand of God past England great Peter Shilton at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico

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Argentina legend Diego Maradona scores the Hand of God past England great Peter Shilton at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico

But what started with a familiar rant about how the ‘fat Mario brother’  – bit harsh – cheated England in the 1986 World Cup, quickly turned into a harrowing story about how he was mentally scarred as a child.

‘How’, talkSPORT hears you ask?

He watched in horror as his favourite Womble was SET ON FIRE by his Dad!

And he said he still had flashbacks of when his childhood days were literally turned to ash before his eyes.

The twist of this tale was so unexpected, and so funny, that listeners admitted they almost crashed their cars, while one said he almost fell off his ladder while pruning his apple tree.

As you do.

Maradona, the Hand of God and setting fire to a Womble – One of talkSPORT’s funniest calls

Host Max Rushden suggested that enough time had passed and Mark should learn to forget about Maradona’s cheating.

“People have forgiven each other for more than that,” he said.

But that set Mark off on his nightmarish tale in an attempt to prove it is not easy for him to get over things.

“Mate, seriously, seriously, [in 1986] I was getting over the fact me Dad set fire to me Womble.

“I still hold a bit of a grudge about it now.”

This prompted Perry Groves to ask whether it was Oronico or Madame Cholet.

“Orinoco, mate,” said Mark.

This is one of the weirdest and funniest calls we’ve ever had on talkSPORT

This is one of the weirdest and funniest calls we’ve ever had on talkSPORT

“I had it for years, but he said ‘you’re too old for that now, son’ and he set fire to it.

“I was ten.

“You’re going to get me emotional, Perry. I was having counselling until I was 22!

“Just the vision of his eyes falling out of its socket…”

Looking back, talkSPORT doesn’t think his call was about Maradona at all.


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