Nigel Fenner has more than a few sporty strings to his bow, which helps no end when he’s showing visitors some of Cambridge’s many sites of special sporting interest.
For starters, he’s a descendant of the tobacconist and cricketer Francis Fenner who, in the mid-19th century, created the famous Cambridge cricket ground that bears his name.
He earned his football Blue in 1982, playing in goal for the University against Oxford at Wembley, after making a name for himself with the Arsenal youth side.
He rowed for Downing College, played alongside Gareth Edwards in the oval ball game and worked as pre-season fitness trainer to Ian Botham’s Somerset cricketers. More recently, he cycled from Land’s End to John O’ Groats.
And he qualified as a sports scientist at Liverpool John Moores University, although it’s difficult to see how he found time for his studies.
It goes without saying that Nigel is an authority on Cambridge sports, yet we managed to teach him a thing or two about Barnwell’s contribution to history when he visited The Story of the U’s the other day.
Who knows? Perhaps one day Coconuts will be able to link up with his tours, which offer revelations about our city’s many sporting stories and achievements.
While enjoying a pleasant walk, you get to see the wonderful new sculpture on Parker’s Piece that celebrates Cambridge’s position as the birthplace of the laws of modern-day football; hear about Henry VIII’s football boots (although you can't try them on); discover the story of the USA bobsleigh champion who was killed in World War II; find out where the only Olympic medal winner to win a Nobel Prize was a student; learn where the town’s bullring was situated; and a lot more besides.
If you hurry, you can book yourself on to a tour majoring on the history of Cambridge football and local and World Cup stories and personalities. Nigel also has a rowing experience and a cricket tour up his sleeve.
To book or find out more, go here: https://www.cambridgesportstours.co.uk.