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How did the 1966 World Cup trophy get stolen and found by a dog?

The Jules Rimet Trophy was the first and original prize for winning the World Cup finals.

It was originally called ‘Victory’, but generally known simply as the World Cup. It was renamed in 1946 to honour the FIFA President Jules Rimet who  passed a vote to initiate the competition.

How did the 1966 World Cup trophy get stolen and found by a dog? Harrow Online
The Jules Rimet Trophy

During World War II, the trophy was held by Italy who won the competition in 1938. It was secretly transported from a bank in Rome and hid it in a shoe-box under a bed to prevent the Nazis from taking it.

This is how much the trophy was sought after, and there was a fear that it would be stolen long before it actually became a reality.

Around four months before the 1966 World Cup Finals held in England, the famous ‘Jules Rimet’ trophy was stolen while on display at the Westminster’s Central Hall.

British Police, with the help of a now infamous collie dog named Pickles, recovered the trophy a week later wrapped in newspaper and hidden in a garden in London.

To this very day, it’s still not entirely clear how the trophy was stolen.  There was a ransom not claiming to be from a person called ‘Jackson’ demanding £15,000. 

Jackson was revealed to be a former soldier called Edward Betchley, who was arrested soon after the note was found.

On March 27, 1966, a man named Dave Corbett from Norwood, left his apartment with his dog to make a phone call.

“Pickles was running around over by my neighbour’s car. As I was putting the lead on I noticed this package laying there, wrapped just in newspaper but very tightly bound with string,” Corbett was quoted by the BBC as sayin


“I tore a bit off the bottom and there was a blank shield, then there were the words Brazil, West Germany and Uruguay printed.

“I tore off the other end and it was a lady holding a very shallow dish above her head. I’d seen the pictures of the World Cup in the papers and on TV so my heart started thumping,” Corbett said.

Once he handed over the trophy, initially Police suspected that Corbett was the thief but later found out about how the discovery was made.

Corbett was handsomely rewarded money to the eventual sum of £5,000. Pickles became a national treasure (as you can imagine!) and was rewarded himself!

“He won Dog of the Year, Italian Dog of the Year and appeared on television on Blue Peter and Magpie,”  Corbett said.

Sadly, Pickles died the following year and was buried at the end of Corbett’s garden.

The Jules Rimet trophy itself was actually stolen AGAIN following the Mexico ’70 World Cup finals won by Brazil. It is believed that the trophy was stolen from a museum and melted down for gold.