Monday, July 03, 2006

The World Cup is stolen.

Alastair Reid reported from England in 1966:
The small gold trophy had been brought from Brazil, and was put on display in the Central Hall, Westminster, under a heavy security guard, as part of a sporting and philatelic exhibition. On the morning of Sunday, March 20th, while a Methodist service was taking place on the ground floor of the building, the trophy disappeared, and the police could manage no more explanation than a sheepish head-scratching. “Nothing at all went wrong with our security,” one red-faced official was quoted as saying. “The Cup just got stolen.” Rewards were hastily offered, the Football Association made plans to replace the trophy, and then the lid of the Cup was mailed to the secretary of the F.A., along with a ransom demand. The embarrassment was international, but Britain itself had a general election in the works at the time, and managed to conceal its national blush. The affair, luckily, had the most English of endings. One week later, a Mr. David Corbett was taking a Sunday-evening stroll with his mongrel dog, Pickles, in a South London suburb, when Pickles began to sniff under a bush, and Corbett uncovered a newspaper-wrapped bundle that proved to contain the Jules Rimet Trophy. One of the plotters, a Mr. Edward Bletchley, was eventually run to earth by a Detective-Inspector Buggy, and, after a bit of a squabble, Pickles collected a substantial share of the reward, was presented with a year’s supply of dog food, got himself a film contract at double the normal dog rates, and became a national canine hero.

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