On this day in 1966, four months before the FIFA World Cup took place in England, disaster struck: the 14-inch, gold-plated World Cup trophy—known as the ‘Jules Rimet’—was somehow stolen from Westminster Central Hall where it was on display as part of an exhibition, supposedly watched by four security guards. Two panicked days later, with no sign of the trophy, a small part of it arrived at the home of Joe Mears, Chairman of the Football Association, along with the following ransom letter—its author, one Edward Betchley, was soon caught by police, charged with the crime, and sent to prison. Seven days after its disappearance, the Jules Rimet was found beneath a hedge by a dog named Pickles, who instantly became famous.
In 1983, the trophy was stolen again, this time from its new home in Brazil1. It has never been recovered.