top of page
Football + sculpture May 2018_edited
Sculture plus tree leaves May 2018
Sculpture towards St Pauls May 2018
Sculpture towards Uni Arms and arty

Cambridge: birthplace of the laws of football.


Tour Guide
Cambridge Sports Tours logo

Tour Guide

Experience. Nigel Fenner established Cambridge Sports Tours in 2017 and since then has provided tours and sporting experiences to corporate businesses, language schools, schools and the general public. He is also a regular speaker to local history societies.


Nigel is a qualified teacher, who has lived and worked locally for over 40 years mostly for local charities - with young offenders, people with disabilities, and more recently with young people excluded from mainstream education.

Safety. Nigel is DBS checked (criminal record check provided by the government) and can provide tailored risk assessments for school groups including up to date precautions for the coronavirus. Nigel has been double-vaccinated plus the booster jab against the coronavirus. Cambridge Sports Tours holds Public Liability Insurance for up to £1 million for guided walking tours.

Sport. Nigel Fenner was a student at the University of Cambridge where he played football against Oxford University at Wembley stadium, so securing his 'Blue'.


Nigel is also related to Francis P. Fenner, who as a local tobacconist and talented cricketer, created Fenner's Cricket Ground in the mid 19th Century.

Charity supported. Nigel supports Street Child United through a donation of £1 per paying walker. He also attended the SCU Cricket World Cup held in India in September 2023 as a volunteer.

Nigel Fenner outside Fenner's Cricket Ground
Cambridge University Football Team 1982
Local newspaper article entitled 'Out to find the Fenner connection' dated 1982

Tours / Talks


Walking tours and talks for 2024

Scheduled walking tours will start again in February 2024

 The programme will be posted early in 2024 reflecting the same sports, themes and personalities featured in 2023 - see below. Alternatively you may want to book your own tour - at anytime?

Book your own sports walking tour / talk

Date and time to suit

Prices start at £125 for 1.5 hours walking tour - maximum size 20 people. Use contact form to request date, time and topic(s) - see tours / talks listed on this page for suggestions.

Talks are also given to local history societies, prices from £45 + travel.

EF Oxford outside King's College in 2018

  COMPLETED 2023 tours, talks and events  

CSiFH tour

Cambridge Sport: in Fenner's Hands - walking tour series

11-12.30pm Wed 11 Oct 2023, and weekly thereafter (except 25 Oct)

Cambridge was involved in shaping the British sporting revolution that went global in the second half of the 19th century, beyond just creating the modern-day laws of football and boxing, and sporting philosophies such as Muscular Christianity. This 4 week course will walk across Cambridge visiting key sites to explore the individuals and sports that made up this revolution and the challenges they faced, such as the tensions between Town v Gown. Whilst Frank Fenner, a local tobacconist, and talented sportsman was initially able to bring Town and Gown together to play in the same teams, he later became a casualty of the revolution he helped to create. 


The course administered by U3AC will follow the walking route outlined in Cambridge Sport: in Fenner’s Hands written by Nigel Fenner, and spread over 4 x 1.5 hour sessions.


This course will be repeated in February, and April 2024. 


To book a place contact U3AC

  Walk completed  

U3AC logo

Women and sport - walking tour

10am on 15 October 2023 - tour of Girton College grounds

Despite nearly half of the first 16 Colleges in Cambridge being founded by women it took hundreds of years before women students had parity with men. Find out also about the disastrous early attempts by students at Girton to play football in the 1870s, and which sport subsequently made the greatest contribution to their physical liberation.

Grateful thanks to Girton College for allowing this tour to take place in their grounds.


(Photo shows the Cambridge United, and University Women's teams who played against each other at the celebration of the unveiling of the 'Football Rules - 1848' sculpture on Parker's Piece in 2018.)

Price: FREE

  Walk completed  

Cambridge  United and Cambridge University Women football teams on Parker's Piece 2018

Football history and All Saints Church - talk

2pm on 16th July 2023

Herbert Luckock was vicar of All Saints Church, Cambridge for 10 years from the 1860s, not long after being responsible, alongside other Cambridge University students, for creating the modern-day laws of football. This contribution is outlined in a talk given by Nigel Fenner, a University football Blue, who also explores the remarkable, yet mostly hidden history of local football since the 14th century. This is a modified talk originally planned for the Open Cambridge Festival 2022.

PLUS This event is supported by Langton Football Archives, who will provide a small display of historic Fine Art and Antiquities depicting aspects of Football history in Eastern England over the last 1000 years. 

The venue for the talk, All Saints Church, Jesus Lane is recognised as 'a triumph of Victorian art and design'.

Price: £10 ( - fundraising for All Saints Church)

Talk and Art display shared

Nigel Fenner presenting at All Saints Church  July 2023
Football related art display at All Saints Church July 2023

Founding of Fenner's Cricket Ground - 175 year anniversary

5th July 2023 - tea interval

Frank Fenner, a local tobacconist established Fenner's Cricket Ground in 1848 and whilst he hoped both Town and Gown would use it, the University have taken full advantage. Events celebrating the ground's 175 year anniversary will take place on 5th July, during the 4-day Cambridge v Oxford Varsity match (4th to 7th July). This will include Nigel Fenner signing copies of his new book during the tea interval on 5th July.

Price : FREE entry to the ground

Cambridge win - see photos

Nigel Fenner at Fenner's Cricket Ground for Varsity Cricket match July 2023
Nigel Fenner outside Fenner's Ground 5 July 2023

Sport and Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge

Saturday 1st July 2023. 1-hour walking tours either at 2.30pm or 3.30pm 

Visit the grave of one of the greatest cricket batsman in the world, and at least 15 others, some, sadly in unknown locations. Hear too about their families, and what the cemetery was once used for.

All individuals feature in Nigel Fenner's new book, Cambridge Sport: in Fenner's Hands

  Open Day cancelled

This is part of the Mill Road Cemetery Open Day. 

Headstones in centre of Mill Road Cemetery

Theatre, literature and sports - walking tour

Saturday 3rd June 2023.

10am start at All Saints Church, Jesus Lane to 11.30am

William Wordsworth, Lord Byron, and Footlights Theatre Company all had links to sport, and yet 'the Town' in particular suffered from the 'non-permission of local theatres' and other leisure pursuits, including at the largest Fair in Europe. The tour starts at All Saints Church, 'a triumph of Victorian art and design' and visits Strawberry Fair.

Price £9 / head payable on the day - cash or credit/debit card.

FREE if purchase 'Cambridge Sport: in Fenner's Hands'

  Walk completed  

Minstrels at Stourbridge Fair in 15th Century - painting in Newmarket Road underpass

Cambridge Sport: in Fenner's Hands - talk and book signing

Sunday 25th June 2023. 6.30pm at Three Tuns Pub, Fen Drayton

Cambridge took a lead role in Britain’s sporting revolution in the 19th century by creating rules (for football and boxing etc) and a new sporting culture, that had a significant impact across the world. Whilst university students can take a lot of the credit, Frank Fenner, a local tobacconist also made a contribution that, until now has gone unnoticed. 

Come and hear Frank's relative talk about his new book.

Just turn up at the pub from 6pm - all welcome


Three Tuns Fen Drayton logo

Boxing, and Town versus Gown tensions - walking tour

Saturday 1st April 2023. Start 10am Magdalene Bridge to 11.30am

The Queensberry Rules of boxing were written and sponsored by two students from Cambridge University. They followed others such as Charles Kingsley, Lord Byron and Isaac Newton who also had an impact on boxing, in a town where tensions between Town and Gown often led to fighting and riots on the street, including a 'famous' battle in the early 19th Century.

Price £9 / head payable on the day - cash or credit/debit card.

FREE if purchase 'Cambridge Sport: in Fenner's Hands'

  Walk completed  

Bare knuckle boxing Newmarket Road early 19th century

Oxford v Cambridge Varsity Rugby men and women matches at Twickenham

Saturday 25th March 2023. Kick off times - to be announced

First played in 1872, it is one of the world’s longest running sporting fixtures, and represents the pinnacle of amateur and student rugby where two of the most prestigious universities in the world compete for the title of Varsity holders.

Prices start from £30 with reductions for children.

Cambridge women lost, men won

Men and women players in action at Varsity rugby

Oxford v Cambridge Football men and women matches at Leyton Orient FC, London

Sunday 19th March 2023. Kick off times - to be announced

Cambridge University AFC is recognised as the oldest football club in the world, with this match against Oxford being the oldest game between the same two teams in the history of football. This year it is being played at a neutral venue in London.

Prices  - to be announced  

Cambridge men lose 2-0, women win 4-0.

Leather football in front of Rules of football 1848 sculpture on Parker's Piece 2018

Muscular Christianity: good news for all? - walking tour

Saturday 25th February 2023. 10am start at Jesus College

Cambridge, in the second half of the 19th century, played a significant role in shaping sport as the world knows it today, not just 'drawing up rules' but in the 'development of sporting philosophies', such as Muscular Christianity. This 1.5 mile walk explores the role of Coleridge, Wordsworth, Kingsley, Darwin, 'the greatest Anglican of the 19th century’ and others, as well as Muscular Christianity's impact on women playing sport.

Price £9 / head payable on the day - cash or debit / credit card

  Walk completed  

Charles Kingsley
Contact anchor

If you would like to book a walking tour or just want more information please fill out the form below and SEND it - thank you.

Your details were sent successfully!

© Cambridge Sports Tours 2018 - updated 10 Nov 2023

bottom of page