In 1966 the Jules Rimet Trophy was to be awarded to the winners of the Football World Cup, which was to be held in England. Early in the year the trophy was scheduled to be displayed at an exhibition at Westminster Central Hall, under the condition that it was under constant guard. It was also insured for £30,000 against theft. On the day of the exhibition security was extremely tight, and the trophy room was monitored around the clock by guards and other plainclothes officers. However at some point around midday the trophy was left unguarded for only a short period, during a change in the guard. When the new guards went to their posts, they found the trophy was gone.
The display case had been forced open, along with the back door of the building. The thieves had somehow removed the padlock from the case and broken down the door, without making sufficient noise for anyone to investigate. Immediately following the robbery, police found they had no leads. Although witnesses had identified strange men hanging around the building prior to the theft, there was nothing to suggest they had anything to do with the robbery. Then the day after the theft, a phone call was made to the chairman of the Football Association, demanding a ransom of £15,000. The male voice identified himself only as Jackson, and warned the chairman not to contact police, or else the trophy would be melted down for scrap. Despite these warnings, the chairman immediately rang the police, who organized a successful sting operation. Although the trophy wasn’t recovered, “Jackson” was arrested and charged, though it is generally believed that he was not involved in the theft and acted only as a middle-man.
Exactly a week after the robbery, the trophy was discovered by a man named David Corbett, who was walking his dog. When the dog, Pickles, began sniffing at a brown parcel under a bush, Corbett unwrapped the parcel and found the trophy inside, wrapped in newspaper. After returning the trophy to the nearest police station, Corbett collected rewards totaling over £6,000. He was also given the privilege of dining with the England football team after they won the World Cup later in the year. The Football Association learned from their mistake, and a replica of the Jules Rimet Trophy was produced for the purpose of public exhibitions.
Pickles, the dog who discovered the trophy, briefly became a famous celebrity and starred in films and TV adverts in the aftermath of the World Cup.