Man’s Best Friend has played his part in the glorious history of the World Cup…
1. Pickles – who famously sniffed out the Jules Rimet trophy from its hiding place in a South Norwood, South London hedge in 1966. Pickles saved th enation from huge embarrassment after theieves stole the World Cup from rare stamp exhibition at Westminster Central Hall, on Sunday 20 March.
Sadly he died in 1967 when his collar caught on a branch while he was chasing a cat.
2. Bi – who invaded the pitch during the 1962 quarter-final between Brazil and England in Chile. Jimmy Greaves managed to catch him, where others had failed, but was rewarded with a stream of canine urine down his shirt. Brazlian star Garrincha thought this was very amusing and adopted the incontinent stray.
3. Unknown – After losing to Peru and drawing with Iran in 1978 Scotland manager Ally McLeod was sitting with journalists in the grounds of the squad’s hotel. When approached by a stray mongrel McLeod sombrely observed: “This little fellow is my last friend in the world.”, bending down to pat him. The dog bit his hand.
4. Winston – A live bulldog who accompanied the England side to Mexico 1970 as their lucky mascot.
5. Bulldog Bobby – By the time England next qualified for the World Cup in 1982 a live Bulldog had been replaced by a cartoon one wearing a broad grin and an Admiral England strip. Some journalists doubted the wisdom of using a dog associated with aggression while England fans were busy tearing up half of Europe, but he seemed quite popular.
He bore more than a passing resemblance to ‘Spike’ Tom the cat’s nemesis in the ‘Tom & Jerry’ cartoon.
Not included – Striker – the annoying USA 94 mascot…
Much, much more old stuff in ‘The Lost World of Football’ – rediscover it… available now in branches of WH Smiths and Waterstones or can be ordered online here…