Thalassery is a place where you will get audience in large numbers for any programme. No other place can take such a credit. Even in the case of sports this is true.
Thalassery has contributed a lot of good sportsmen and organisers. C.P. Poker, C.P. Kunjumohammed, Sixer Kunjhipakki and P. Moosa are among them. Most of the contribution were in cricket, but the Tron Club, Excilsor club and sports club no longer exist. Before the Thalassery Municipal stadium was constructed, in 1958-59 football tournaments were conducted in which teams from Pakistan namely Karachi kickers, Karachi makrans used to come and participate. They stayed at Kamaliya hotel near police station. Thalassery United Athletic Club organised football tournament in 1962. Club patron V.R. Krishna Iyer took the initiative for this. In the next year this tournament was organised in the international level with famous teams from Pakistan, Mumbai, Calcutta and Madras participating. The tournament was also of financial success. Krishna Iyer gave all help for the organising of these tournaments.
The Thalassery Municipal Cricket Ground hosted many Ranji Trophy cricket matches. On this ground, the first ball was bowled in the early 1800s, thanks to Colonel Arthur Wellesley, who brought the game to this Malabar town. In the year 2002, Thalassery cricket ground celebrated its 200th birthday by hosting a one-day international cricket match between India and Sri Lanka.
The famous English Cricketer Collin Crowdey has played in Thalassery during British regime.
Chess was born in Thalasery in 1974. After the formation of the Thalasery's Chess Club, tournaments were organised at junior and senior levels. Chess progressed in Thalassery under the leadership of N.N. Ahmed Haji. The Thalassery Taj Lodge which he owned became a centre for players in Thalassery.
As the facilities were readily available many players used to reach Thalassery in the weekends and holidays to play the game. One well known player was C.P. Chandhu Nair who invited several players to Thalassery. One of the milestones in the history of Chess in Kerala was the State Chess Championship organised in 1976. A. Shasshidharan of the Thalassery Chess Club was crowned the 'Chess King'. Those who earned fame for Thalassery in chess include V.P. Balaram, K.V. Mohanan and others. Thalassery also hosted the junior and sub junior championships.
Sir Arthur Wellesly, later Duke of Wellington introduced cricket in Thalassery, sometime during the last decade of the eighteenth century. He did not have enough players in his establishment. He got his persons, dhobies who washed his clothes near the well in one corner of the Thalassery stadium, fisherfolk from their colony and many others to make up the numbers. It took more than half a century (1860) for the first cricket club, Tellicherry Town Cricket Club, to be formed.
In 1890, Tellicherry and Cannanore played a cricket match at Cannanore. Murkoth Kumaran also took part in that match. Tellicherry team had walked to Cannanore to play that match and returned on foot late at night.
In 1912 the first proper pitch was laid at Thalassery stadium by an Enlgish Engineer Anson.
Cricket was not only a way of life but was also a leveller where people of all castes, creeds, vocations and class joined together. Most of the British officials like the Sub Collector, Collector, S.P., Managers of British comapnies played cricket with indians. Those were the days when India had not entered the test arena, Ranji trophy tournaments and others that followed, had not been heard of in the country.
In November 2008, modern and exclusive cricket stadium developed at Conorvayal was inaugurated. First Ranji Trophy match at stadium was on 03-11-09 between Kerala and Andhra. Indian pace bowler Sreesanth played in this match.
Both football and cricket took off at the same time in Thalassery. The first football club in India itself was found in Thalassery. This club was found in 1860. BEMP School teacher J.D. Sathyanathan, C.K.P. Kadherkutty and C.P. Hameed functioned office bearers of the club. The presence of footballers like Garjan Abooty, Annan Mukundan, Dhamu, Pacheni Kumaran, Vayanadan Shankaran, O.V. Hameed, Venadan Kumaran, Karikkal Komu etc. were a source of inspiration for people in Thalassery.
One of the footballer Hameed was the member of the States School Team. The first player from Thalassery to participate in the Santhosh Trophy was V B Ishaque. He played for FACT for ten year and was the captain for three years. V B Ishaque is now the Secretary of Kannur District Cricket Association.
Hockey became popular along with Cricket in Thalassery. Those who played cricket in the day time played hockey in the evenings. The umpire of both games was Sunny Master. The roots of hockey can be traced to the British era. The town hockey club and Catholic Hockey Club moulded the players. The hockey's stars of those days were Alfred Rodericlues, Thamburam Kandi Anandhan and M.A. Ramarishnan.
Players started organising on a league basis after the formation of the Thalassery United Athletic Club. In 1950 the Thalassery District Hockey Association was formed. The Thalassery St. Josephs Boys High School has contributed several stars to the state. Thalassery is also indebted to M.A. Ratnakaran for the growth of Hockey. M.A. Shivaram and A.P. Sunil were captains of the State Hockey Team.
Just like Arthur Wellesly popularised Cricket in Thalassery, European clubs popularised Tennis. Thalassery has several Tennis courts. Some of these courts were demolished for constructing government buildings. On one of the courts a fire station has come up and in another court a volleyball court has come up. Some of the well known tennis players of those years were Tata Mosa, P.V. Moosakeyi and Kunjupakki Keyi.