Taking slight at a passing remark from a fellow guest, the man stormed out of the room, snatching the cup as he left. Such was the condition of refreshment among the guests, no one seemed to notice. But the man was overcome with guilt and on his way home to Sheffield turned himself in to an astonished night shift at his local police station.
Related ArticlesMourinho's sad goodbyeMilito's Argentina afterthoughtWebb excels in Bernabeu spotlightMourinho to make Madrid 'third home'Jose Mourinho ready for Real challengeSport on televisionThe officers in charge immediately contacted their counterparts in Birmingham, only to have the phone put down on them. "We're too busy to talk, there's been a major incident here," they were told, "someone's nicked the European Cup."
Unable to return the trophy to its proper owners immediately, the policemen did what anyone would do in the circumstances: they organised themselves into teams and played a five-a-side tournament, the winners being presented with the European Cup.
This being in the days before cameraphones, the only person on hand with the equipment to record the moment was the scenes of crime officer.
The incident only came to light recently when a producer from Radio 4's You and Yours spotted the picture on the desk of a policeman with whom she was discussing a story.
"What's that?" she asked. "That's the night Sheffield nick won the European Cup," came the reply.