It has been 57 years since Pickles the dog rescued England’s World Cup dream by finding the stolen Jules Rimet Trophy.
The unlikely hero’s discovery came after the trophy had been stolen from a public exhibition just a few months before the 1966 World Cup was due to get underway in England. Pickles’ heroics made him a superstar in the UK and he is not the last pooch to be made famous by football in the years since.
Here, Daily Star Sport looks at the stories of Pickles and six other dogs who have rose to stardom in the world of football.
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Pickles the dog
Despite a middleman being arrested after the Jules Rimet Trophy was stolen in March 1966, the missing silverware was still yet to be located a week on from the theft.
That was until Pickles stepped up as he sniffed around a neighbour’s car, with his owner David Corbett recalling in 2016: “There was a package by the front wheel. It was very tightly wrapped – the IRA was in action in those days and I thought to myself ‘was it a bomb?’
“So I picked it up. Put it down. Picked it up, put it down again. I tore a little bit off the bottom and saw a shield. I recognised it straight away and thought ‘This is it!'”
Corbett was initially treated as a suspect before being cleared of any wrongdoing once the trophy had been identified as the real thing. As for Pickles, he was presented with a cash prize for finding the treasure and was photographed posing with a football.
Back in May 1987, Torquay United found themselves on the brink of relegation from the Football League as they trailed Crewe Alexandra on the final day of the season.
With Torquay’s desperate attempts to find an equaliser to keep them up appearing to be in vain, right-back Jim McNichol was bitten by a police dog who thought he was attacking his handler.
In the time added on for McNichol receiving treatment, Torquay equalised and secured their place in the Fourth Division for the following season.
Brazilians are known for their passionate support and their pets are no different.
One Fluminense fan’s dog recently went viral after being caught on camera watching the club play on television. The excited pooch could be seen wearing the club’s home shirt as it lay at the foot of a bed watching the match.
After Fluminense scored, the dog excitedly jumped in the air before running round in circles in celebration.
Unlike the other dogs on this list, one footballer’s pet instead rose to fame after tragically passing away last year.
The player emotionally celebrated scoring for their club by ripping off his jersey to reveal a t-shirt baring an image of his recently-deceased dog.
As his team-mates gathered around him, the player then ushered them away so that the cameras at the side of the pitch could get a good view of the photo. Visibly emotional, he also lifted the shirt up to kiss the photo as he gazed to the sky.
Not all of football’s famous dogs have made their mark by saving the day, with one pooch doing the opposite last summer.
A non-league friendly between Yorkshire clubs Ilkley Town and Thackley back in July had to be paused after a dog bounded onto the pitch to relieve themselves during the match.
The dog ran around the pitch before heading to the corner flag to take a “p***”, much to the amusement of the players and those watching on the sidelines.
World Cup guard dog
After his penalty shootout antics helped Argentina win a third World Cup in December, Emiliano Martinez was quick to ensure his winners medal would be well-protected.
The Aston Villa goalkeeper forked out £20,000 on a Belgian Malinois guard dog to protect his medal after returning to the Midlands following the tournament.
Belgian Malinois’ can weigh up to 30kgs and have been deployed by the SAS and US Navy Seals in the past, with Martinez having his pet pooch specially trained to guard his home from invaders.
In addition to pet pooches and pitch invaders, football’s famous dogs also include a string of club mascots to have graced stadiums from the Premier League to League Two.
Huddersfield Town’s Terry the Terrier was the subject of controversy in 2018 after being pictured looking glum during a match against Watford, having been told to sit down to avoid obstructing the view of supporters.
Meanwhile, Birmingham City mascot Beau Brummie was involved in a kidnapping scare in 2012, only for it to turn out the mascot was instead taking a break until the club started spending money.
Barnsley, Doncaster Rovers, Newport County and Dagenham & Redbridge also have dogs as their official club mascots.
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