Dribbling Minds

Dribbling Minds Football Magazine

Football in Thrissur!

Football is by far the most popular sport in Thrissur. The city and district has contributed numerable players, clubs, coaches, tournaments and stadiums to Indian football.

  • Jo Paul Ancheri, former Indian football team Captain and the AIFF Player of the Year is from Thrissur. Ancheri has played for many leading football clubs including Mohun Bagan, JCT FC, FC Kochin and East Bengal F.C.. He is a versatile player who can play in any position including defender, defensive midfielder, midfielder, and striker.
  • I. M. Vijayan is a former professional football player known as Karutha Muthu (Black Pearl). Vijayan was crowned Indian Player of the Year in 1993, 1997 and 1999. He scored one of the fastest ever international goals in a match against Bhutan in the 1999 SAF Games, when he managed to do the same in 12 seconds.
  • Victor Manjila is a former Indian International football goalkeeper from Thrissur. He represented Kerala, as the goalkeeper, in the Santosh Trophy in 1971, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, and 1979. Manjila was the captain of the Kerala team that played in 1975 Santosh Trophy. He represented India in the 1976 and 1977 President’s Cup at South Korea and Kings Cup at Bangkok.[1] [2]
  • C. V. Pappachan has represented Kerala in the Santosh Trophy tournament eight times. He was instrumental in Kerala Police winning two Federation Cups.[3] [4]
  • Rino Anto (born 3 January 1988) is an Indian professional footballer who plays as a right back for Bengaluru FC and Atletico de Kolkata.Anto is a product of the famed Tata Football Academy in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand where he graduated from in 2008. From 2008 to 2010 Anto played professionally in the I-League with Mohun Bagan before being released on 23 February 2010. Then, from 2010 to 2012, Anto played with Salgaocar in the I-League,After playing two seasons with Salgaocar in the I-League, Anto signed for Quartz of the I-League 2nd Division in their search for promotion to the I-League. After not even being able to play in the 2nd Division, Anto joined the Kerala football team that played in the 2013 Santosh Trophy in which he reached the final before losing to Services football team 3–4 on penalties.Then on 5 June 2013 it was reported that Anto, along with Wahid Sali, had signed with Mohun Bagan and thus return to the I-League for the 2013–14 season. However, on 24 June 2013, it was reported that Anto had been released from Mohun Bagan, less than 20 days after signing with the club on his second spell as the club could not afford his salary. He made no appearances with the club.Rino made his national team debut on 11 June 2015 against Oman in a Group D game of the 2018 World Cup qualifier in a 1-2 loss at home in Bengaluru.
Football Clubs
  • R B Ferguson Club, the first and the oldest football club in Kerala state, was established in February 20, 1899 in Ollur, Thrissur. The club was named after the Kochi Police Superintendent, R B Ferguson.
  • In 1947, the second oldest club in Thrissur, Aurora Club, Ollur was formed by the football loving fans of Ollur.
  • Thrissur Gymkhana,[5] an upcoming football club from Thrissur, has won many tournaments across Kerala.[6]
  • FC Kerala, a new football team based in Thrissur will be coming soon with a dedicated stadium.[7]
  • Red Star FC, another club promoted by team of entrepreneurs from Thrissur is also blossoming. It is headed by Jo Paul Ancheri.[8]

The first football tournament in central Kerala was kicked off in 1925 by the Kochi Athletic Association. The tournament was held in Palace Ground now known as Thrissur Municipal Corporation Stadium. Rama Varma XV, Maharaja of Cochin has contributed 100 Tola of silver cup for the tournament. The first winner was Church Mission Society High School Union, Thrissur. The tournament was winded up in 1930 when the first FIFA World Cup was started.[9] [10] N.I. David Memorial Trophy, once dubbed as the football World Cup of Thrissur was started in 1996 by the then Superintendent of Police, Thrissur, in memory of N. I. David IPS who died in harness in the office of the Commandant, KAP 1st Battalion, Thrissur. The tournament had to be stopped temporarily in 2005 but later restarted in 2010. [11] [12] [13] [14]


T.K. Chathunni, also known as the travelling coach was a coach for National Football League (India) from 1997-1998. Hailing from Thrissur, he has coached most of football clubs in India like Dempo S.C., Salgaocar F.C., Mohun Bagan A.C., Churchill Brothers S.C., Chirag United Club Kerala and Josco FC.[15] [16] [17] [18] [19] Victor Manjila, another football gem from Thrissur, is a successful former coach of Kerala football team that won 1993 Santosh Trophy.[20] [21] [22] [23] M. Peethambaran, former Kerala Santosh Trophy coach is also from Thrissur.[24] [25] [26]

  1. “Victor Manjila to coach Kerala”. The Hindu. Retrieved 2014-07-07.
  2. “Victor keeps making winning a habit”. Saudigazette.com. Retrieved 2014-07-07.
  3. “Gone are the glory days”. Sportstaronnet.com. Retrieved 2014-07-07.
  4. “C. V. Pappachan gets favourable verdict”. Webdunia.com. Retrieved 2014-07-07.
  5. “About the Soccer Club”. Gymkhana Club Thrissur. Retrieved 2014-07-06.
  6. “Thrissur Gymkhana wins title”. The Hindu. Retrieved 2014-07-06.
  7. “Kerala FC unveiled on Friday”. Goal.com. Retrieved 2014-07-06.
  8. “Welcome to Red Star FC”. Red Star FC. Retrieved 2014-07-06.
  9. “Ollur’s football club turns 115 years today”. Mathrubhumi.com. Retrieved 2014-06-13.
  10. “The first tournament”. Mathrubhumi.com. Retrieved 2014-06-13.
  11. “Thrilling restart to the World Cup of Thrissur”. New Indianexpress.com. Retrieved 2014-07-06.
  12. “Inter-club football”. The Hindu. Retrieved 2014-07-06.
  13. “SPORTS AND GAMES”. Kerala Police. Retrieved 2014-07-06.
  14. “Thrissur FC: Thrissur Football Club”. Thrissur.now. Retrieved 2014-07-06.
  15. “FC Kochin rope in coach Chathunni”. Indian Express. Archived from the original on 2014-02-19. Retrieved 2014-07-06.
  16. “The business of football”. The Hindu. Retrieved 2014-07-06.
  17. “Big lessons for a young club”. The Hindu. Retrieved 2014-07-06.
  18. “A home for Josco”. The Hindu. Retrieved 2014-07-06.
  19. “The League of foreign coaches”. Times of India. Retrieved 2014-07-06.
  20. “Victor Manjila to coach Kerala”. The Hindu. Retrieved 2014-07-06.
  21. “ictor Manjila Calls for More Tournaments in Kerala”. The New Indian Express. Retrieved 2014-07-06.
  22. “Victor keeps making winning a habit”. Saudigazette.com. Retrieved 2014-07-06.
  23. “Kerala honours Santosh Trophy-winning teams”. The Hindu. Retrieved 2014-07-06.
  24. “Kerala needs to look beyond Santosh Trophy”. The Hindu. Retrieved 2014-07-06.
  25. “Football in Kerala, a dismal picture of deterioration”. Telegraph. Retrieved 2014-07-06.
  26. “Kerala enters final on a day of goalkeepers”. The Hindu. Retrieved 2014-07-06.
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