When soccer’s World Cup was stolen from a display case in London in 1966, the week that followed saw huge tabloid headlines, a ransom demand, threats to melt the trophy down and a botched undercover police operation to exchange a bag of fake money for the treasured hunk of gold.
It wasn’t until seven days after the theft that the trophy the best minds of Scotland Yard were unable to find was easily sniffed out by a re-homed, furniture-chewing mutt named Pickles.
England was hosting the World Cup that year, and ended up winning it, but if not for Pickles there might have been no trophy to hoist.
Pickles was a four-year-old border collie mix whose owner, Dave Corbett, had taken him in as a puppy when his brother could no longer put up with his habit of chewing up furniture.
The cup had been on display in central London, and supposedly was being heavily guarded when it was stolen in the months leading up to the tournament.
Police made the case a high priority, but were still stumbling by the time Pickles, out for a walk, sniffed out the Jules Rimet Trophy in a clump of shrubs. That was 50 years ago yesterday.
“I put the lead on Pickles and he went over to the neighbor’s car,” Corbett recalled in this recent interview with the BBC.
“Pickles drew my attention to a package, tightly bound in newspaper, lying by the front wheel. I picked it up and tore some paper and saw a woman holding a dish over her head, and disks with the words Germany, Uruguay, Brazil. I rushed inside to my wife. She was one of those anti-sport wives. But I said, ‘I’ve found the World Cup! I’ve found the World Cup!'”
Corbett duly rushed the cup to the police station, and immediately became a suspect.
Two days earlier, the police investigation had taken a turn for the worse, according to The Guardian.
A man calling himself Jackson had contacted league officials about how they might reclaim the trophy for £15,000.
An undercover officer was sent to meet Jackson and make the exchange, but Jackson became suspicious it was a set up and fled.
He was caught, but the trophy was not.
Jackson’s real name was Edward Betchley, a small-time thief, and he would only admit to being a middleman.
He refused to disclose the location of the trophy.
Once police became assured Corbett had no part in the theft, he would get the reward money for the trophy, and Pickles became a celebrity. He starred in a feature film, appeared on numerous TV shows and was proclaimed Dog of the Year.
After England’s 4-2 victory over West Germany in the World Cup final, Corbett and Pickles were invited to a party celebrating the victory.
The World Cup trophy would be stolen again in 1983 in Brazil, and never recovered.
Pickles died the year after his big find. He saw a cat and took off, his leash trailing behind him. Somehow it got tangled on a tree limb and the dog choked to death.
Corbett buried him in the garden behind his house in Surrey — the house that, thanks to Pickles, he was able to buy with the reward money.
Posted by John Woestendiek March 28th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, bbc, dave corbett, dog, dogs, england, football, found, history, investigation, jules rimet trophy, london, pets, pickles, police, ransom, scotland yard, soccer, stolen, world cup
This mostly friendly game of soccer between a dog and a turtle gets a little rough at times — but then so does human soccer.
Valeria D’Innocenzo Carlantoni in Civitavechia, Italy, a small town near Rome, posted the video of her dog and an unusually speedy turtle on her Facebook page.
At the very end of it, the turtle, after having the ball taken away, appears to snap at the dog’s hind leg.
Where have we seen that before?
Posted by John Woestendiek July 9th, 2014 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 2014, animals, ball, behavior, bit, bite, bites, bitten, dog, dogs, funny, humans, pets, play, snap, soccer, sport, suarez, turtle, videos, world cup
It’s unfair to cast aspersions on an entire sport because of the actions of just one player.
Then again, it’s unfair to pick a dog up by the neck and hurl it into the stands.
That’s what Enzo Jose Jimenez did when a dog wandered onto the field in a minor league match between his Bella Vista team and the San Juan team in the Tucuman province of Argentina.
A referee flashed a red penalty card and the player was expelled from the game.
We’d like to see him expelled from the team, the league, the sport and, at least for a year or two, from free society.
Fox Sports de Argentina broadcast images on Tuesday showing the player using both hands to grab the mid-size black-and-white dog by the neck and throw it toward the bleachers.
The dog struck a chain-link fence, but quickly got up and ran away with no injuries, or at least no apparent ones.
There are no reports of any charges being filed against the player, but it’s being reported that the soccer club terminated Jimenez’s contract yesterday.
Club Sportivo Bella Vista, issued a statement last night calling his actions “incomprehensible” (assuming this translation is correct) and saying he had been kicked off the team.
Posted by John Woestendiek June 13th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: argentina, bella vista, bleachers, cruelty to animals, dog, expelled, field, gimenez, hurled, jose, jose jimenez, neck, penalty, san juan, soccer, sports, stands, thrown, tucuman, video