What is Jules Rimet and why is it gleaming?

The nation are singing "It's coming home"... but do you understand all the lyrics to the song?

England captain Bobby Moore kissing the Jules Rimet trophy as the team celebrate winning the 1966 World Cup final against Germany at Wembley Stadium. His team mates are, left to right, George Cohen, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters, 30th July 1966. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

“It’s coming home, it’s coming home, it’s coming… football’s coming home!” the nation has been chanting for the past few weeks.


But as you sing along to Baddiel, Skinner and the Lightning Seed’s 1996 classic, do you ever find yourself singing “Thirty years of hurt, Jules Rimet still gleaming” and wonder who or what Jules Rimet is (and why we’re still singing 30 years of hurt, rather than 52 years of hurt, which would be more accurate?)

What is Jules Rimet?

The Jules Rimet trophy was the official name of the original World Cup trophy. Originally called “Victory” and more informally simply the World Cup, the trophy that teams were awarded for winning had a name change in 1946 to honour the third President of FIFA, Jules Rimet, who in 1930 had masterminded the very first World Cup tournament.

Why is Jules Rimet still gleaming?

Because it’s a trophy made of gold – and they gleam under light. It is referenced in Three Lions because it was the trophy that England captain Bobby Moore held aloft at Wembley in 1966 when England won the World Cup.

FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY - DECEMBER 10: The Jules Rimet trophy is seen in the lobby of the DFB headquarters during the DFB Federal Court trial against Hannover 96 and Dynamo Dresden on December 10, 2012 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images)
The Jules Rimet trophy (Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images)

What happened to the Jules Rimet trophy?

Well, it had an interesting life.

A few months before the 1966 World Cup in England, the trophy was stolen while on public display in London. Strangely, a week later it was found in a hedgerow in Upper Norwood in South London wrapped in newspaper by a dog called Pickles. Pickles went on to be somewhat of a canine celebrity.

In 1970, the Jules Rimet trophy was given to Brazil to keep after they won the World Cup for the third time, a stipulation that the former FIFA President had made when inventing the tournament.

But the story of the trophy was not over. In December 1983, the award was once again stolen – this time from a bullet proof case in the Brazil. Sadly, on this occasion, there was no Pickles and the trophy was never recovered. It is widely assumed the gold trophy was melted down and sold.

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JUNE 08: In this photo illustration a replica of the FIFA World Cup Trophy is seen ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup on June 8, 2018 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
FIFA World Cup (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

So what is the new World Cup trophy called?

After Jules Rimet was given to Brazil, FIFA commissioned sculptor Silvio Gazzaniga to make a new trophy for the 1974 World Cup. The World Cup that most people would recognise today is simply called the FIFA World Cup Trophy. Unlike Jules Rimet, it wasn’t given to the first team to win it three times, after Germany did so in 2014.