Rebel. Hero. Hustler. God.

I had the pleasure of attending a viewing of new documentary, Diego Maradona on Fathers Day at my local Picturehouse, the Duke of York’s. The two-plus hours of footage took me right back to my younger years of the mid-eighties.

The director, Asif Kapadia, whose other titles include Senna and Oscar winning, Amy, was present for a Q&A session after the main feature. It was a very nostalgic experience for me.

I was only a ten year old boy when Maradona first came to my attention. World Cup ’86 was the first one I ever recall and by chance, I had Argentina as my project team at primary school.

I knew nothing about international football. I was just getting to grips with Celtic Football Club through my school mates, most of whom had been given a proper grounding in football culture.

International football was a whole other game. I loved the World Cup that summer.

Of course, Argentina won it in ’86 and Maradona became my very first football hero. Yes, even above any Celtic player of the time!

I even had a huge poster of Diego on my bedroom wall and a number 10 Argentina top with Maradona emblazoned on the back. I didn’t even have a Celtic or Scotland jersey yet!

This documentary took me all the way back to those days and more. I knew nothing about Maradona’s background at the time, just what I saw that summer.

In the years ahead, we’d discover more with the assistance of the media. The downfall of a hero.

It is without a doubt a very tragic tale. From the 15 year old “black kid” right through to the superstar and controversial lifestyle.

The tagline sums it up. Rebel. Hero. Hustler. God.

Kapadia discussed the documentary afterwards and how he pieced it together from a variety of sources after the footage was discovered. The majority of which had never been seen before.

He spoke with the legend himself on only a couple of occasions. In fact, he recalled he was still owed at least one more audience with him, but he was not certain it would ever come about.

It’s a facainating story worth watching for yourself. Much of which I did not know a lot about then or now.

I do recall his brilliance and subsequent decline. There’s so much more though.

Should you get the chance to see it, you won’t regret it. Another brilliant documentary by Asif Kapadia.

Hail! Hail!

Stevie Mac

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