How often does a replica have a more interesting story than the real thing?

Ahead of the 1966 World Cup in England, the Jules Rimet Trophy was stolen whilst on display at Westminster Central Hall, just one day after the exhibition had opened. Its thief demanded a £15,000 ransom, sending a removable part of the trophy as evidence of its capture, but was apprehended at the meetup without the trophy on his person.

One week after its theft, the silverware – wrapped in a paper bag and tied with string – was sniffed out under a garden hedge by Pickles, a black and white collie. His owner, David Corbett, returned it to the police, bringing to an end seven days of hysteria, conspiracy theories and mystery.

Now operating with even more diligence, The FA were adamant that lightning would not strike twice. They secretly commissioned a replica: this was quietly swapped in place of the original in the dressing room after England’s dramatic 4-2 win at Wembley Stadium.

FIFA were not best impressed at the existence of this copy, demanding it be handed over once England’s stint as world champions had passed. Between 1966 and 1970, the replica was used for all public engagements, with the original kept under lock and key in a secure location.

The FA’s course of action was ultimately proven to be the correct one. When Brazil won the World Cup for a third time in 1970, they were allowed to keep it permanently, as per Jules Rimet’s stipulations back in 1930. However, the trophy was robbed again in 1983 from CBF headquarters in Rio: this time, it was not recovered by a sleuthing canine. 

As such, The FA’s illicit replica is the closest anybody will ever get to seeing the very first World Cup silverware.