Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

You'e Smarter for 10

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

You'e Smarter for 10

Article excerpt

Byline: MICHAEL BROWN

The World Cup was stolen? Yes. On March 20, 1966, four months before Bobby Moore would hold it aloft after Geoff Hurst's hat-trick, the Jules Rimet Trophy was taken from Westminster Central Hall. The gold-plated silver statue of the Greek goddess of victory, Nike, had been on show at a stamp-collecting exhibition, but at the time of the theft the building was hosting church services Did they pay? Mears contacted the police, who told him to place the ad on March 24. They then contacted a bank, who created a false ransom payment out of bundles of ordinary paper, with real money at the top and bottom.

A meeting was arranged with a man called "Jackson" at Battersea Park and police officers pretending to be Mears' assistants went to meet him.

What went wrong? Detective Inspector Charles Buggy met the man at the park gates, and he failed to notice the money was fake, so agreed to lead them to the trophy. However on the way "Jackson" spotted a Flying Squad van that was following them and made a run for it. He was arrested and identified as used car dealer Edward Bletchley.

So how did they get the cup back? Bletchley claimed a man identifying himself as "The Pole" had offered him PS500 to act as a middleman, but he didn't know how to find him. The trail went cold until, on the morning of March 27, dog walker David Corbett and his mongrel Pickles found a parcel wrapped in newspaper and string under the hedge of his home in South East London.

Why was it in England at all if we hadn't won it yet? The 35cm high, 3.8kg trophy had been in the hands of Brazil after they won it in 1958 and 1962, but was sent to England in January 1966 ahead of that summer's World Cup. Usually, it was kept under lock and key at the FA's Lancaster Gate HQ, but it was loaned to the Stanley Gibbons stamp company on condition it was guarded. …

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