In the autumn of 2012 the decision was taken by the University of Cambridge to build a Sports Centre on the West Cambridge site. The Director of Sport, Tony Lemons, who had promised since the demolition of Portugal Place in 1995 that he would find a way of incorporating fives courts into any such sports centre, informed the presidents of the two Cambridge fives clubs that there was a space available on the first floor of the proposed building if the clubs could raise the necessary money to fit the space out.
Estimates put the figure for 3 Rugby Fives courts and 3 Eton Fives courts at between £825,000 and £850,000. The President of the Rugby Fives Club, Bob Dolby, and his counterpart at the Eton Fives Club, Rodney Knight, set about raising the money, which needed to be in place by August 2013.
The Club appealed initially to various bodies: the Cambridge University Fives and Rackets Association, to the Jesters Club, to the Rugby Fives Charitable Trust and the Newby Trust, all of whom gave generously. Subsequent appeals were made to all past players of Rugby Fives at Cambridge, known as Sparrows; to past players of Rugby Fives at Oxford University; to individual members of the Jesters Club and of the Rugby Fives Association. Within six months the necessary money had been raised.
The firm of contractors who took on the unusual task of building fives courts was SDC Construction of Bedford. The walls were rendered and the glass back walls were supplied by Courtcare UK of Congleton, the floors of the courts were laid by McDaid Screeding Services of Luton. For a pictorial history of the new courts go to www.cu-sparrows.net/history/constructing-the-new-courts.
In February 2014 Honours Boards were installed recording all the Cambridge players since 1925 and a plaque was unveiled to commemorate the role played in Cambridge fives by Jock Burnet between 1949 and 1989. In his speech the current President of Cambridge University Rugby Fives, Bob Dolby, dubbed the area of the courts ‘New Portugal Place’.