The history of the FIFA World Cup trophy
The history of the FIFA World Cup trophy
The history of the FIFA World Cup trophy
World CupThe history of the FIFA World Cup trophy

The history of the FIFA World Cup trophy

The FIFA World Cup trophy, which is up for grabs every four years, is the most coveted award in world football. The trophy has had a fascinating journey through the years, including two instances of theft.

The much-coveted Jules Rimet Trophy ended up in an unexpected location for the duration of World War II due to worries about its security. The trophy was secretly stolen from the Rome bank’s vault and hidden under Ottorino Barassi’s bed for the duration of the War. At the time, he was the FIFA vice president. Up until 1950, when the FIFA World Cup returned to Brazil after World War II, the trophy was kept secure under Barassi’s bed. Barassi, who played a key role in Italy hosting the 1938 competition, was in charge of organizing the 1950 competition. The Jules Rimet Trophy’s previous foundation was changed to a taller one in 1954 to accommodate the names of more winners.

Stolen in England

Although the Jules Rimet Trophy was unharmed during World War II, it almost vanished before the 1966 World Cup in England, which was the first time the competition was staged in the country that gave football its name. The Jules Rimet Trophy was on display in Westminster’s Methodist Central Hall as a part of the Sport with Stamps Stanley Gibbons Stampex rare stamp exhibition, four months before the World Cup was scheduled to begin.

The FIFA World Cup trophy vanished from its display cabinet on March 20, 1966, when a Sunday worship service was taking place in a different area of the building. The rare stamps, which were reputedly worth over three million pounds at the time, were reportedly never touched by the robber, who instead made off with the trophy, which was worth 30,000 pounds at the time. Joe Mears, the chairman of the Football Association (FA) and London club Chelsea FC, received a ransom note from a person posing as “Jackson” while law enforcement authorities, including Scotland Yard, scurried to recover the Jules Rimet Trophy.

Jackson included a removable lining from the top of the FIFA World Cup trophy as proof of possession along with a 15,000-pound demand for the trophy’s return. In front of Chelsea’s home stadium, Stamford Bridge, the handover was planned. What happened next resembled a scene from a crime novel. An undercover cop pretending to be Mears’ assistant lured Jackson with phony cash and bits of paper, then tried to get him to direct them to the trophy that had been stolen. Jackson attempted to flee by jumping from a moving car after realizing something was amiss.

After a thrilling chase, Jackson was ultimately apprehended, and it was discovered that he was actually Edward Betchley, with a history of petty theft. When questioned, Betchley asserted that he did not steal the trophy but rather served as a go-between for an illusive person he called “The Pole.” Although ‘The Pole’ was never found, Betchley received a two-year prison term. The prize was still flapping in the wind.

Pickles the dog to the rescue

David Corbett, a Thames lighterman (barge operator), was out for a walk with his dog Pickles, a black and white collie, in the Beulah Hill neighborhood of southeast London while the Jules Rimet Trophy search continued across the country. Additionally, exactly one week after the initial heist, it was a Sunday. The four-year-old dog located a box wrapped in newspapers and strings under one of Corbett’s neighbors’ cars as Corbett pulled over to a phone booth to make a call. Although Corbett was initially dubious and worried that the package might contain a bomb, he eventually gave in to his curiosity and opened it.

“I pulled it up, tore some paper, and discovered a woman holding discs with the words Germany, Uruguay, and Brazil on them above her head. I hurried to my wife inside. She belonged to the group of anti-sport wives. I however declared, “I’ve found the World Cup!” I’ve discovered the World Cup! Years later, Corbett remembered his response.

Corbett was briefly arrested on suspicion that he might have been implicated in the theft before going on to turn over the trophy to the neighborhood police station. However, he was given a pass because of his alibi. The bargeman got Pickles from his brother as a puppy because he “chewed on furniture a little too much,” and both Corbett and Pickles went on to become national legends. Pickles, who has saved England from a dire situation, went on to gain fame and then stardom on television.

Bobby Moore, the captain of England, was able to raise the original Jules Rimet Trophy at London’s Wembley Stadium after his country defeated Germany in the World Cup final as a result of the pair, especially Mr. Pickles. The Queen herself gave Sir Bobby Moore the World Cup trophy, and it is still the Three Lions’ lone triumph to date. Pickles and Corbett were also invited to the reception for the England squad after they won the FIFA World Cup trophy.

Brazil secure and lose the Jules Rimet Trophy

Brazil was given the Jules Rimet Trophy permanently when they won the World Cup three times in 1970, as it was written that the first team to do so would always be entitled to keep the trophy. However, the real trophy was again taken from the Rio de Janeiro offices of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) in 1983. It was alleged that the original Jules Rimet Trophy had been turned into gold bars, but it was never found.

In 1984, the CBF ordered a copy of the trophy, and in 1997, FIFA purchased the FA-made replica that had been built after it had been stolen for the first time in 1966. After receiving a contract from the FA, a British jeweler by the name of George Bird created a replica of the original trophy out of gilded bronze. The original base, which was changed in 1954 for a taller one, is the sole portion of Abel Lafleur’s trophy that still exists today. The object was found in 2015 hidden away in the FIFA offices’ basement in Zurich.

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The history of the FIFA World Cup trophy
kenneth De Souza
I like football, and I love to write about it. I report and write on stories in the football world. I'm also a huge fan of the game.


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