As he was led away from the dock to begin a life sentence Richard Nilsson, 19, screamed: “I did not kill him. I had nothing to do with his death at all.”

Circumstantial evidence had landed Nilsson, of Buckden, Cambridgeshire, on a murder charge, accused of killing eight-year-old Christopher Sabey on the afternoon of the Cup Final, Sunday, MAY 19th, 1968. Nilsson, a painter and decorator, was known to “hang around” children, and had once tried to indecently assault one boy.

Christopher was strangled but not raped, and his body was fully clothed. But fawn-coloured dog hairs on his clothes could have come from only three dogs in the neighbourhood, and one of them was Nilsson’s. That was enough to convince a jury.