Cambridge Sport: in Fenner's Hands
Author: Nigel Fenner (Downing 1981)
Publisher: Cambridge Sports Tours
“Fenner’s” is well known in Cambridge, even amongst those who know little about cricket, but being named after the University Cricket Ground is currently Frank Fenner’s only legacy. His hands had quite a reputation though, being described a few years before he died as 'worthy of preservation in a glass case in the pavilion at Lord’s, like Galileo’s at Florence, as trophies of his suffering and glory. Broken, distorted, mutilated, half-nailless, they resemble the hoof of a rhinoceros, almost as much as a human hand'. So how did a local tobacconist warrant such a comparison with Galileo?
At this time, in the second half of the nineteenth century, England was experiencing a sporting revolution that went global, with Cambridge, and perhaps Frank Fenner, having a significant impact. This was despite the challenging relationship the Town had with the University, which explains in part the ‘suffering’ evident in Frank’s hands. Nigel Fenner, related to Frank, came to Cambridge to train as a teacher, also acquiring a University football Blue. Today Nigel leads Cambridge Sports Tours which is why Cambridge Sport: in Fenner’s Hands is structured as a walking tour.