The Dog That Found the Stolen World Cup Trophy

With the eyes of the world on Brazil for the World Cup, we take a look back in time when a dog named Pickles became the biggest World Cup star on Earth.

On the afternoon of Sunday, March 20, 1966, the World Cup trophy was stolen from an exhibition in central London.  The Jules Rimet trophy, named after FIFA president Jules Rimet, and depicting the Greek goddess Nike, was swiped when police officers and security were circuiting the exhibition hall.


The day after the theft, the Chairman of Britain’s Football Association received a ransom note demanding £15,000 for the safe return of the trophy.  Police arranged a handover of a suitcase containing fake notes.  Unfortunately, the man they apprehended was named Edward Bletchley, a local petty thief and used car salesman.  The ransom was a hoax.  Bletchley claimed he was working as a middleman for the true criminal, known only as “The Pole.”  However, this was never confirmed.


A week after the theft, a dog named Pickles was out for a walk with his owner.  Pickles sniffed out the trophy, which was wrapped in old newspapers, tied with a string, and hidden at the bottom of a garden hedge in South London.


Pickles was the talk of the soccer universe, and four months later, when the World Cup was hosted and won by England, Pickles was invited as the guest of honor to the English team’s celebration banquet.

The trophy thief was never apprehended, although Pickles and his owner were suspects for a brief time.  However, they both had alibis (we assume Pickles didn’t need an alibi, other than being a DOG).


Pickles received countless awards, including being named “Dog of the Year” and given a year’s supply of food!  Pickles grew even more famous when he starred in the 1966 film, “The Spy with the Cold Nose.”  Sadly, Pickles passed away within 12 months.  His collar is on display in England’s National Soccer Museum.



Hat tip to

Griffin Shaffer

8 years ago