How Pickles saved the World Cup: Jules Rimet Trophy discovery remembered

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Media captionPickles finds world cup

The owner of the dog which sniffed out the stolen World Cup trophy ahead of England hosting the tournament has told how the moment "changed his life".

Border collie Pickles found the Jules Rimet Trophy after it was stolen four months ahead of the 1966 World Cup.

Dave Corbett - who received a reward of about £6,000 - spoke ahead of the 50th anniversary of the tournament, which England went on to win.

He said: "If you've got a dog, love it. He may pay you back."

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Image caption The Jules Rimet Trophy, valued at £3,000, was taken from its display case at the Stampex exhibition in March 1966

Pickles found the famous trophy - stolen a week earlier while on display at Central Hall in Westminster - on 27 March. It was wrapped in newspaper near Mr Corbett's home in south London.

Mr Corbett told how he tore off the newspaper and noticed the names of previous winners Brazil, West Germany and Uruguay before taking it to his local police station.

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Image caption Pickles found the World Cup trophy after his owner Dave Corbett left his flat to make a phone call

He said: "I pushed open the double doors and behind was a sergeant standing at his big desk.

"I banged the package on the desk and said 'I think I've found the World Cup'.

"He looked at me and at it and said 'It doesn't look very World Cuppy to me'. "

Police initially treated Mr Corbett as a suspect before he explained how he was taking Pickles for an evening walk when he noticed the dog sniffing at a tied-up package in bushes next to a car.

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Image caption Police display the Jules Rimet trophy to the press following its discovery by Pickles

The return of the trophy elevated Pickles and Mr Corbett to national hero status and the pair were invited to a celebratory dinner after England went on to lift the trophy when they beat West Germany 4-2 in the final on 30 July.

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Image caption The FA were so concerned about the Jules Rimet trophy going missing again they arranged for a replica during England's post-match celebrations at Wembley
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Image caption On the back of his fame Pickles got a role in the 1966 film The Spy with a Cold Nose, starring Eric Sykes (bottom left)

Mr Corbett used the reward money to buy a house at Lingfield, Surrey - where he has lived ever since.

"It changed my life completely and I put it all down to my mate Pickles down there," Mr Corbett said as he nodded at the dog's grave in his back garden in Lingfield.

Image caption Dave Corbett created a grave for Pickles following the death of the dog in 1967

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