Did a Dog Seriously Discover the Stolen World Cup Trophy Before the 1966 World Cup?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about baseball and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the soccer/football urban legends featured so far.

SOCCER/FOOTBALL URBAN LEGEND: A dog discovered the stolen World Cup trophy soon before the 1966 World Cup began.

In 1966, the World Cup was held in England.

The festivities almost hit a major snag before the games ever began – the Jules Rimet Trophy (the trophy awarded to the winning World Cup team ever since 1930) was STOLEN!

The Trophy was held by the Football Association, but they lent it out to the Stanley Gibbons’ stamp company for a museum exhibit featuring the trophy. On March 20, 1966, somebody broke into the museum and stole the trophy!!

The next day, the head of the Football Association received a ransom call. The police worked with him and on March 24th, when it came time to exchange the money, the police managed to capture the fellow who made the pick-up. The guy, a petty theft named Edward Betchley, claimed that he did not know anything and he was just a middle man.

After Betchley’s arrest, there was no more news until March 29th, when a man named David Corbett and his dog Pickles were walking in the Beulah Hill district of South East London. Pickles smelled something under Corbett’s hedges, and sure enough, it was the trophy!!

Naturally, this seemed a little TOO convenient for the police, who suspected Corbett. But he checked out, and so Pickles, for a short time there, became a national icon!!

Here is a replica of what the trophy looked like…

You might be wondering, “Brian, what do you mean REPLICA? The trophy was recovered, right?”

That’s true, but in 1970, the trophy was retired. It was given to the 1970 World Cup winner, Brazil, who won it for their record third time in 1970! But in 1983, it was stolen AGAIN! And as of today, it has yet to be found (and let’s face it, odds are it is long gone, melted down or whatever), which is why we only have replicas to look at.

You’d think they’d be more careful with it, huh?

The legend is…

STATUS: True

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future urban legends columns! My e-mail address is [email protected]

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