Have You Heard About the Dog Who ‘Won’ the World Cup?

His name was Pickles. The year was 1966. 

Central London was gearing up to host that year's World Cup event, and the Jules Rimet Cup was prominently displayed in a glass cabinet at the Methodist Central Hall in Westminster, with round-the-clock guards keeping watch. Still, somehow someone managed to snatch the trophy, leaving England scrambling to solve the mystery and catch the culprit at the risk of facing global embarrassment.

A week later, Pickles, a black-and-white mixed breed, while on a walk in a south London suburb with his owner, David Corbett, came across an object wrapped in newspaper and stashed under a garden hedge. 

It was the missing trophy.

England thanked Pickles by naming him dog of the year," giving him a year supply of dog food and a reward. When England went on to win the Cup after a 4-2 victory against West Germany, Pickles and Corbett were invited to the celebration dinner. "The players were out on a large balcony [of their hotel in Kensington]. I went in with Pickles under my arm and Bobby Charlton, all of them, picked him up," Corbett said. Pickles' fame continued as he received a role in the film The Spy With the Cold Nose.

Sadly, Pickles died the next year after choking on his collar while chasing a cat. His legacy lives on, though, as his collar is still on display in England's National Soccer Museum.

Who "done it" still remains a mystery—Corbett himself was initally a suspect but his alibi checked out, and a man named Edward Betchley served time in prison for being involved as a middleman in the crime, but the actual thief was never caught.  

In 2014 the AKC awarded Pickles an honorary Canine Partners certificate to celebrate his efforts as an outstanding mixed-breed dog.