7 Days To Go - World Cup 2018
We’re on the home straight now folks - it's officially one week to go!
I'll pick up where I left off yesterday and England's 100% success rate in World Cup finals.
Deep-rooted into English sporting history until the end of time will be the much celebrated image of captain Bobby Moore, lofted in the air by his team mates, proudly lifting the famous old Jules Rimet trophy.
It's a sight to behold for any England football supporter
Almost unbelievably, this was almost not meant to be, what with Germany levelling in the last minute of normal time in the final, the legitimacy of Geoff Hurst’s match defining second goal and the showpiece trophy going missing before the tournament had started!!
Yes you read right, the trophy went missing for a whole seven days in the build-up to ’66, leaving the FA with the sheer embarrassment of hosting the greatest show on earth without the trophy everybody was playing for.
How on earth did this happen, I hear you ask with a furrowed brow!
Well, four months before the tournament was to start, the FA agreed to a request for the trophy to be shown off at a Stamp exhibition in Westminster, close to the Houses of Parliament.
No problems there then, security would be of the highest order thought FIFA President Stanley Rous, who still laid out certain stipulations for the police and FA to follow by way of procedure. The trophy had to be transported by a well-respected security company, locked in a glass case and guarded for 24 hours a day.
Not much to ask for. Or, so you would think! Those in charge, most notably the Metropolitan Police, failed in doing what they were paid to.
Needless to say, the trophy went walkies!
A couple of hoaxes and a ransom note that led to an arrest but not a lot else left the Met Police, the FA and, well, the whole of England in hysteria at the prospect of becoming a laughing stock, though, by all accounts, they had become so already.
Thank goodness for one man and his dog
Seven days into the nationwide hunt for the trophy, South Norwood resident Dave Corbett was alerted to a package bound in newspaper by his Collie canine, Pickles, when out walking around his home of South Norwood.
Unsure first of all of what he’d come across, Corbett was tentative at picking something up around the time the IRA were particularly prevalent.
However, on he pressed and off he marched to the police station, only to be greeted with an air of scepticism and then suspected as the culprit behind the crime.
It came to light though that Corbett was innocent of any wrongdoing and had actually saved the police and the FA from any more ridicule.
Corbett’s life and, in particular, that of his dog, detective Pickles, were to never be the same again, they were to be lauded all over the place!
Both he and his owner became house hold names for their part in the recovery of Jules Rimet, receiving cash rewards and appearing on TV and at a host of grand openings.
Pickles was given an extra’s role in a film, ‘the Spy with a Cold Nose’ and even attended the World Cup banquet to honour the victorious England team responsible for creating history.