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.