Published: 28/05/2014
ISBN: 9781783064939
eISBN: 9781783066155
Format: Paperback/eBook

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About the Author

Paul Gadsby worked as a news, sports and trade journalist in and around London for 15 years, and is now a full-time writer based in his native Northamptonshire. In 2005 he co-wrote the non-fiction ... read more

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Chasing the Game
by Paul Gadsby

London, spring 1966. England’s Football Association is preparing to host the World Cup, unaware of the shock – and shame – they are about to encounter as the audacious daylight robbery of the Jules Rimet Trophy takes place. The Football Association members have their reputations endangered as the robbery threatens to tear their lives apart...

Dale Blake, the recently promoted head of a west London racketeering firm, is struggling to deal with his unstable wife, Sheryl. Aside from his personal issues, he’s desperate to boost the firm’s income and prove his leadership in front of his troops, particularly second-in-command, Jimmy Parkes. Their plan is simple: snatch the Jules Rimet Trophy from its display case at Westminster Central Hall and cash in on the ransom.

Clement Spears, the ageing chairman of the FA, is outraged at the global embarrassment the theft has caused. He refuses to be bullied by violent gangsters and plans to rescue the trophy and reaffirm the association’s good name.

As the pressure mounts, Dale’s personal and professional life spirals out of control while an erratic Sheryl, a volatile Jimmy and a steely Spears are all determined to have their say in the turbulent aftermath of this notorious crime. Throw into the mix a secret replica of the trophy and a curious dog named Pickles, and the complex mystery deepens into something far worse than any of the characters anticipated...

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Chasing the Game, Paul Gadsby's debut novel, was published by Matador in April 2014. It is now available to purchase from the Matador shop and other book retailers.

The book is the first fictional depiction of one of Britain’s most enduring true-crime mysteries that remains unsolved to this day; the theft of the Jules Rimet Trophy (the football World Cup) in London in March 1966.

The solid gold trophy was stolen three months before the tournament and famously discovered by a dog named Pickles in a London street a week later. One man was convicted for demanding a ransom but was never tied to the actual theft, while other possible culprits and the full circumstances behind the crime never came to light.

Chasing the Game presents a thrilling portrayal of the crime, weaving a set of vivid characters into the tale to create a gripping – and shocking – version of a story that still draws much speculation today.

Centred within a criminal underworld, it charts a desperate chase for the ransom led by a west-London racketeering firm with high ambitions and even bigger internal conflicts. The book deals with themes of gang leadership, complicated family ties and the vulnerability of the male identity, played against the backdrop of a gritty 1960s London that’s sinning rather than swinging.

Media coverage of the theft has so far been limited to just non-fiction accounts of the crime and a short children’s film narrated by the character of the dog. Chasing the Game is the first truly exhilarating fictional take on this unusual but fascinating crime.

More details about the book (reviews, media coverage etc) will be published here in due course.

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