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What Happened to the Original World Cup?

Friday, 23 February 2018 11:57:04 Europe/London News , By Shane Nicholl

1966 Jules Rimet World Cup Trophy Was Stolen

With the 2018 World Cup hosted in Russia, due to begin on 14th June, security officials must be getting nervous. After all, there were numerous attempts at stealing the original Jules Rimet trophy.

Who was Jules Rimet?

The holy grail of football, otherwise known as the Jules Rimet trophy has had a turbulent past, but who was Jules Rimet and why was the World Cup named after him?

 

Jules was born in 1873 in France. He became a lawyer and in 1897 he created a sports group called Red Star. One of the sports that the club played was football and as the game became ever more popular, Rimet was involved in setting up the Federation of International Association Football, known to most of us these days as FIFA.

 

Jules Rimet became the president of FIFA in 1921. A job he held until 1954, making him the longest-serving FIFA president in history.

 

In 1928 Jules’ plan for a World Cup went ahead in Uruguay. The tournament has flourished ever since, captivating the hearts of football fans all over the world.

 

Originally the World Cup trophy was called Victory. However, this was changed in 1946, when the cup was named the Jules Rimet trophy, in honour of the FIFA president.

First attempt at stealing the trophy

The Nazis made the first known attempt to steal the World Cup trophy, but FIFA vice-president Ottorino Barassi secretly hid the trophy in a shoe box under his bed, so Adolf Hitler couldn’t get his hands on it in. This all happened in 1938 when Nazi henchmen came knocking at the vice president’s hotel room door, in France.

 

England 1966

Four months before the 1966 England hosted World Cup was to begin, the trophy was stolen, from an exhibition at Westminster Central Hall.

 

A man known only as Jackson, made a phone call to Joe Mears, Chairman of Chelsea FC, telling him a package would be left at Stamford Bridge. The package contained a £15,000 ransom demand and the removable lining from the trophy. The Police arranged to meet ‘Jackson’,  but when they eventually came to arrest the man who had posted the package, he told the police he was only the middleman and the mastermind was someone known only as ‘The Pole’. This person has never been caught.

 

Seven days later the World Cup trophy was found wrapped in newspaper at the bottom of someone’s garden hedge in Beulah Hill, London. Pickles the dog was credited with sniffing out football’s most prized possession; becoming something of a celebrity in the aftermath of the heist.

Three times Consecutive winners Brazil

Brazil kept the original (Jules Rimet) trophy after they won their third World Cup in 1970. The trophy was put on display at the Brazilian Football Confederation headquarters in Rio de Janeiro. It was housed in a secure bulletproof glass cabinet. However, on 19th December 1983, the trophy was stolen again.

 

Four men were tried and convicted of the theft. The trophy has never been recovered and it is commonly thought that it has been melted down and sold, many years ago.