Football World Cup: Even Pickles the dog has got closer than Aussies
A mongrel mutt named Pickles has got closer to it than any Australian.
And though the Nazis failed to find it, thieves got their hands on it.
It’s been tossed away, some say melted down.
And it’s priceless. It’s the most coveted trophy in sport – the Jules Rimet Trophy, for winning football’s World Cup.
What’s Pickles the dog got to do with it? Blame the Poms.
They lost it – before they won it – in 1966, when the solid gold trophy was pinched in London while on a pre-tournament exhibition.
London gangster Sidney Cugullere, with brother Reg, is said to have stolen the trophy while on display at the Methodist Central Hall in Westminster.
A week later, a geezer called Dave Corbett was taking pooch Pickles for a walk in south-east London and the mutt sniffed a garden hedge.
Inside the hedge was something wrapped in newspaper – the Jules Rimet Trophy.
The dog’s owner was given a 5000-pound reward – five times as much as England players got for winning the tournament and the trophy a few weeks later.
Pickles became a national hero and dined out on his fame with a year’s supply of treats from a pet food company.
A year later, Pickles died, while chasing a cat, his lead got caught in a tree branch and he choked.
Brazil, who held the World Cup trophy before the Poms won it in ’66, thought it laughable – not the dog’s demise, the fact the trophy was pinched.
“This shameful theft would never have happened in Brazil,” thundered Brazilian Sports Confederation official Abrain Tebel. “Even Brazilian thieves love football and would never have committed such a sacrilegious crime.”
Karma came calling in 1983, when thieves stole the trophy from Brazil’s possession.
Brazil had earnt keeper’s rights, when FIFA decreed the first nation to win the trophy three times could keep it forever.
After the Selecao’s third triumph in 1970, the Brazilian FA kept the trophy at their Rio de Janeiro headquarters.