The trophy was stolen while it was on public exhibition at the Methodist Central Hall in Westminster just months before the tournament. The Chairman of the Football Association received an anonymous phone call, followed by a parcel that contained the removable lining from the top of the trophy and a ransom note that demanded £15, 000 in £1 and £5 notes. If the instructions weren’t followed and the police were alerted, the thieves would melt the trophy down.
Despite the warnings, the Chairman contacted the police who set up a plan to retrieve the trophy. They stuffed a suitcase with fake notes and newspapers covered with a layer of £5 notes so the thieves wouldn’t suspect the false ransom. Undercover, the police met “Jackson” who agreed to hand over the trophy for the money. But the pursuit was futile and “Jackson” was arrested, claiming he was only the middle man. Meanwhile, the trophy was still AWOL.
It was an unsuspected hero who recovered the trophy. David Corbett was out walking his black and white collie Pickles in South London but little did they know they were about to hit international headlines. Pickles was causing a commotion, barking and sniffing at a mysterious parcel, wrapped in an old newspaper and tied with string, lying under the hedge of the house. Cautiously, David unwrapped the parcel and knew exactly what Pickles had found when he saw the engraved winner’s names on the bottom. Pickles had found the World Cup!
Pickles experienced a burst of stardom, appearing on Blue Peter and was awarded the silver medal of the National Canine Defence League.
It was England that went onto win that World Cup, with Sir Geoff Hurst scoring a hat trick in the final against West Germany! He was the first and only player to score a hat trick in the World Cup Final! Sir Geoff visits The Courtyard as the World Cup kicks off this June and will be sharing stories and fascinating insights about his football career, as well as taking questions from the audience too!