Top 10/50/100

10 of the weirdest football-related robberies (featuring unhappy 'Arry's invoice and more)

Richard Edwards recalls the game's oddest instances of thievery, including that time David Beckham's car ended up in the hands of Macedonia's interior minister

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1. All-too-brief problem in South Africa

The designer briefs vanished from their luxury rooms in an orgy of thieving by hotel skivvies

- The Sun

England had already been caught with their pants down by Germany at the 2010 World Cup, but to add insult to incompetence, the players returned to their Rustenburg hotel to find out that their smalls had gone walkabouts too.

“The designer briefs vanished from their luxury rooms in an orgy of thieving by hotel skivvies,” panted The Sun. The light-fingered cleaners paid a heavy price, though, being jailed for three years for their underpants heist.

2. Andy’s return of the Mac

It’s safe to say Andy van der Meyde had enjoyed better weeks when, shortly after having his drink spiked, thieves broke into his house and carted off with a Ferrari, a Mini Cooper, eight Rolex watches (yes, eight!) and a dog called Mac.

The thieves then demanded a £5,000 ransom for the pup. “We only report a dog stolen if we have a crime reference number,” barked the Missing Pets Bureau. Thankfully, dog and owner were reunited three days later.

Andy van der Meyde

"How will I tell the time now?!"

3. ‘Arry’s ’ad enough

I wouldn’t describe the person who stole the letters from my office as a mole... he was more of a rat

- Harry Redknapp

Harry Redknapp’s Christmas cheer went out of the window when a 1995 invoice demanding payment for a Yuletide night that had got slightly out of hand was nicked from the then-West Ham manager’s Chadwell Heath training ground office and leaked to a Sunday tabloid.

“I wouldn’t describe the person who stole the letters from my office as a mole,” he told the Evening Standard. “He was more of a rat.” Harsh words.

4. Golden Balls’ golden car

When David Beckham’s armour-plated BMW was spirited away from an underground car park during a Good Friday family lunch in April 2006, the £70,000 motor soon found a good home – with the Macedonian government. The vehicle reportedly changed hands 20 times before it ended up in the Balkans, so interior minister Gordana Jankulovska put a stop to that – and kept it for herself.

“If Beckham asks for the vehicle back I will hand him the key myself,” smiled the politician after Becks didn’t come forward to claim it, before adding: “I’m a big fan.” Well, you would be.

David Beckham

Beckham protected his next car by refusing to ever leave it