Just a few weeks before the 1966 World Cup, which was held in England, the Jules Rimet Trophy was allegedly stolen from a guarded and secure Postage Stamp exhibition
From the BBC News archive:-
“1966: Football’s World Cup stolen!
The football World Cup has been stolen while on exhibition at Central Hall in Westminster, London. The £30,000 solid gold Jules Rimet trophy disappeared while a church service was taking place in another part of the building.
Thieves removed the cup from the “Sport with Stamps” display at the Stampex exhibition, but stamps worth £3m were left behind.
At least two guards were in the hall at the time of the theft. Alsa-Guard, the security firm at the exhibition, was not available for comment.”
This story is laughable, if one was to examine the evidence.
1. The Jules Rimet trophy, made out of solid gold and then worth £30,000, was stolen from an exhibition from Central Hall in Westminster, London – right from under the noses two security guards who were being paid to guard it!
2. While the trophy was stolen, thieves inexplicably decided to leave behind a stamp collection worth £3,000,000. Simple maths means that the stamps were worth 100x more than the trophy. Why take the instantly recognisable trophy worth just 1% that of a stamp collection that would have been far easier to break up and sell on? What would you do?
Would you be happy stealing a £30,000 trophy that you’d have to go to the trouble of melting down when you could have a cool £3,000,000 instead, in handy, manageable stamps?
No, I thought not.
3. Though the FA had allegedly received demands for money for the safe return of the trophy, it was found a week later by a dog called Pickles, hidden under a bush in Beulah Hill, South London. Does anyone believe that an enterprising thief would risk being spotted or arrested by two security guards when stealing the trophy, make demands for cash to the FA for a week, then simply leave £30,000 of solid gold underneath a bush for some hapless dog to discover by ‘accident?’
So here is an alternative theory.
The FA faked the theft of the trophy in order to raise interest in a competition that had failed to capture the imagination of the English public (ticket sales were very poor prior to the theft). They also wanted to instil a sense of national pride in the trophy. This would create feelings of ownership among England fans.
They would consider the trophy theirs before they even kicked a ball in anger.
It was all part of pre-conditioning to make the gullible English think they already owned the trophy.
England’s 1966 World Cup triumph nearly proved a diplomatic disaster as the belief that the tournament was an “Anglo-German fix” provoked anti-British demonstrations across Latin America, according to confidential Foreign Office files recently released.
The Football Association became alarmed that Britain’s “fair play” image abroad could be seriously damaged after the Wembley victory led to howls of outrage from defeated countries around the world.
“No one has ever satisfactorily explained what the trophy was doing under a bush wrapped in a copy of the Daily Mirror, and why David Corbett received a reward of £5,000, which was a huge sum, the equivalent of over £250,000 today. Pickles became an overnight national hero.
I am surprised that he wasn’t in the BBC top one hundred greatest Britons.
But some have said that the trophy was cursed and within weeks of the cup’s recovery and in a remarkable instance of bad luck, Pickles choked to death when he caught his lead in the bough of a fallen tree while chasing a cat.”
NOTE: And being Welsh, I must admit it does give me a certain sense of pleasure that the English Football Team had to resort to blatantly cheating in order to gain the only notable trophy they have ever come close to winning!