Object of the Week: The Jules Rimet trophy lifted by England after their 1966 World Cup triumph

By Culture24 Reporter | 28 July 2016

The original World Cup trophy was stolen in Brazil in 1983. Now the England duplicate - created following security concerns - is going on display for one day only at the V&A

A photo of the gold Jules Rimet trophy awarded to the winners of the World Cup
© National Football Museum
The original Jules Rimet trophy was made for the first 1930 Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup. But it was famously stolen ahead of the tournament in 1966, and then discovered a week later by a dog named Pickles, wrapped in newspaper underneath a garden hedge in South London.

England went on to win the trophy and lift the original cup at Wembley. In response to security concerns, the Football Association then commissioned a duplicate cup from the silversmith George Bird to be used at public occasions, despite FIFA explicitly denying them permission to make a copy.

The new trophy was swapped for the original immediately after the final, and was used for four years by the England team and players, as they displayed their status as world champions.

A photo of the gold Jules Rimet trophy awarded to the winners of the World Cup
© National Football Museum
The original Jules Rimet trophy was returned to FIFA for the next World Cup in 1970. The duplicate, which was not meant to exist, was hidden for many years under its creator’s bed.

In 1983, the original cup was again stolen, this time from display in Brazil, and has never been recovered. In 1997, the duplicate cup was purchased by FIFA, and is today displayed at the National Football Museum in Manchester.

“This duplicate is the closest anyone can get to seeing the trophy Bobby Moore lifted at Wembley 50 years ago,” says Tim Reeve, the Deputy Director of the V&A, where the trophy will go on show for one day only in the Raphael Gallery this Sunday, displayed alongside an original leather ball from the final match.

A photo of the leather light red ball used in the 1966 World Cup final
An original leather ball from the final, won by England 50 years ago on Saturday, will also be on show© National Football Museum
“I am looking forward to England winning the 2018 World Cup in Moscow and hopefully the V&A will be able to exhibit the new World Cup.

“Until then I encourage every England supporter to drop by the V&A on Sunday for this unique opportunity to see the trophy up close in London.”

  • Two days of free talks, displays and events will take place at the V&A on July 30-31 2016 in anticipation of the major exhibition . Visit the V&A’s listings for details.

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