A ransom note demanding £15,000 for the return of the stolen Jules Rimet World Cup trophy is to be sold at auction.

The letter, which was sent to Chelsea and FA chairman Joe Mears in 1966, will be sold at Bonhams' Sporting Memorabilia sale in Chester on October 18.

In the letter the author, who calls himself Jackson, threatens to melt down the trophy if he is not sent £15,000 in £5 and £1 notes.

It reads: "Dear Joe Kno (sic) no doubt you view with very much concern the loss of the world cup"..."To me it is only so much scrap gold. If I don't hear from you by Thursday or Friday at the latest I assume it's one for the POT."

On the advice of the police, Mears agreed to the demand and an undercover policeman met "Jackson" in Battersea Park, London, with a suitcase stuffed with newspapers covered with a layer of £5 notes.

Jackson, who was actually a former soldier called Edward Betchley, was still being questioned when the trophy was discovered in a garden hedge by the heroic dog Pickles.

The theft led to a replica World Cup trophy being made which was surreptitiously swapped with the real thing during the celebrations after England's victory later that year.

The ransom note is one of a series of documents relating to the infamous theft that are expected to fetch a total of £10,000 to £15,000.

Other items include various witness statements; four photographs of the trophy in a folder marked Bow Street Magistrates Court; the ransom money; the briefcase and Joe Mears' Ford Zodiac, which was used in the police operation to catch the thief. ..SUPL: