Early Sport

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Early Sport' page

The earliest record of a Kettering cricket team dates from 1855-it beat Higham Ferrers-though the Kettering Town Cricket Club was not founded until 1877.
Kettering Town Football Club began in 1869, and turned professional in 1891. It moved to its present ground in 1898.
Athletics emerged after 1870, though there was some rivalry between the more middle-class amateurs, and the working class 'professionals' who competed for money prizes. An annual athletics meeting was established during Feast week where both sides competed, not always harmoniously.
Cycling was the other main enthusiasm, and the Kettering Amateur Cycling Club began in 1890.

This page was added by Chris Leuchars on 14/02/2008.
Comments about this page

I'm very interested in the reference to early athletics on this page; in particular, the reference of rivelry between middle class amateur and working class professionals. Folklore claims that my grandfather, Tom Wood, was a professional runner during the latter part of the 19th century. The lore goes on to claim that he was finally banned from the sport, because he was caught running with lead in his hands, thereby slowing the movement of his legs. The text accompanying the image of the Kettering Revellers, elsewhere on this site, does indicate that he was one of Northamptonshire's best long distance runners, but I can find no reference to his professional athletics career. I've already tried Kettering Harriers. Does anyone out there have any ideas, please?

By Andrew Wood
On 08/08/2008

An ancestor of mine who was from Norwich is said to have set up a successful bicycle shop in Kettering in the 1890s. The problem is I'm not sure of his name as his was married 3 times - could have been William Nunley, Ward or Walker. He was married to a Rhoda Webb from Raunds. Do the cycle club records say which of the 3 names he had?


By Jennifer Carlile
On 08/09/2017

William Nunley was my great grandfather. Nunley we’re making bicycles in a barn in Bath Rd several years before Raleigh. The business was left to my grandad, Cyril Nunley, and his two brothers. It was based in Montague Street. I have a photograph of a Nunley bicycle somewhere. 

By Brian Munn
On 27/03/2018

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