Thursday, May 24, 2018


  Any British football fan who was around for the 1966 World Cup (and what a glorious win that was!) will remember the saga of Pickles, the hero collie dog who recovered the Jules Rimet trophy which had been stolen before the tournament began.

  The theft threatened to derail the biggest competition in world football because how could the tournament go ahead without a trophy?

   Pickles is being remembered now, more than five decades later and a month before the 2018 World Cup, because the riddle of who stole the trophy has finally been solved with two gangster brothers named as the men behind the infamous robbery.

 Sidney Cugullere and his brother Reg are said to have 'nicked it for the thrill' months before England hosted the tournament, 52 years ago next month according to an investigation by the Daily Mirror, which has revived the story. 

  Usually guarded by just a few security officers the Jules Rimet trophy was stolen on the second day of the exhibition while the guards were on a break. Cugullere, using bolt cutters to take it from its cabinet while the guards were on a break, put it in a bag and walked out.

The heist led to one of Scotland Yard's biggest ever manhunts but neither Cugullere, who was jailed for 25 years for other offences, nor his brother, were ever collared for the crime.
With the trophy too hot to sell, they decided to get rid of it quickly and quietly. They wrapped it in newspaper and dumped it under a bush where Pickles, out for a walk with his owner, found it a week later.

I get my hands on theWorld Cup (briefly)
  The four year old collie was hailed a national hero and lived the life of a star. The four legged phenomenon starred in a feature film, 'The Spy with the Cold Nose', as well as appearing on Blue Peter, Magpie and a bunch of other shows. Pickles was also voted 'Dog of the Year' and awarded a year's free dog food supply from Spillers

Bobby Moore would go on to lift the Cup after England defeated Germany 4-2 in the final and Pickles was at the celebration party where Bobby Moore took him onto the hotel balcony and lifted him up to the cheers of the crowds below.
 Unfortunately for Pickles his celebrity lifestyle lasted roughly a year before he met an upsetting end. 

"He ran after a cat and pulled my son over, before disappearing," said his owner,Thames lighterman David Corbett.  "I looked for over an hour. Then, in the gardens behind my house I saw him up on a tree. His chain was around the branch and Pickles was just hanging there."

Instagram: @beachscribe

Monday, May 21, 2018


Rami Malek as Mercury

   A 90-second trailer for the long-awaited and trouble-hit movie biography of Freddie Mercury, Bohemian Rhapsody, has just been released ----and it is already causing controversy.

   Sacha Baron Cohen, who was originally set to star as the flamboyant Queen frontman, backed out  saying the movie appeared to be more about the successes of Queen than about the extraordinary and often X-rated life of Mercury.

  And while the trailer demonstrates that Rami Malek does an outstanding job as Mercury, it also shows nothing of his private life. 

  Because the surviving members of Queen had to approve it, the movie seems centred on the band and steers clear of Mercury's incident-filled life as a gay icon and his struggle with AIDS.
  Not a word of dialogue is spoken in the trailer that doesn’t pertain to the music of Queen: nothing of Mercury’s love life, no illness, no emotion, nothing dangerous or overtly queer to offend anyone.

 According to one critic: "The whole thing has the flavour of something strenuously queerwashed, which has removed everything wild and interesting about Mercury. This trailer would appear to presage a film with no interest in sounding the ambiguities of his life, the abrasive queerness of his perspective, the virulence of the homophobic press in their attacks on him – what, in a word, made him tick."

Personally I hope the movie is good and is a big success because it has been produced, after a long struggle, by Graham King, a good friend of mine and fellow Chelsea supporter. He is certain it will fulfill audiences' expectations.
 "This is a story that has something for everyone," he says. "Freddie Mercury connected like only a handful of performers have ever done."

Bohemian Rhapsody is due to be released on November 2.

Instagram: @beachscribe


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