The arrival of the 1960's saw the emergence of some very talented young players who were to make up the Junior side for the next decade. This team included Malachy, Sean and Brian Campbell, Pat and Edmond Devlin, Charlie, Pat and Frank O'Neill, Sean and Paddy Cush, John McCann, Gerry Devlin, Danny O'Neill, Hughie Cunningham, Felix McGuire, John and Dessie Mullan, Jim McCreesh, Joseph Mulholland, and Paddy "Mac" McElkerney. Dedicated and hard working committee members included Charlie Hagan, Joe Mills, Tim Murphy (secretary), MJ McCourt, Liam Heaney, Hugh Cunningham and Jim Loughran. The team continued to play in Sloans garden as new grounds were impossible to obtain.

This team were beginning to show promise but a major set-back arising from a breakdown in discipline in a Junior Championship replay against Benburb in the mid 1960's was to effect the club greatly. The team were suspended rather harshly for 2 years and a number of players got suspensions ranging from 2 to 5 years. This resulted in a number of key players drifting to other clubs and after the teams suspension was over, many holes had to be filled.

However in 1969 Rock St Patrick's bounced back by winning the East Tyrone Junior League and they were promoted to Intermediate Football for the first time. This team included Micky and Brian Campbell, Pat and Edmond Devlin, Liam Heaney, Charlie, Pat and Frank O'Neill, John McCann, Gerry Devlin, Danny O'Neill, Hughie Cunningham, John, Pete and Dessie Mullan, Joseph Mulholland, Dessie McGurk and Paddy "Mac" McElkerney.


The rise of the team to Intermediate Football was to be short lived and in 1970 they were relegated back to Junior Football. Several players had left to work in England and despite efforts by Paddy "Mac" to start youth teams, interest declined rapidly. Sloans garden was no longer available for home games and home matches were played in Kildress. The club then struggled to field full teams and it was becoming nearly impossible to field a team. The Club Chairman at that time was Hugh Cunningham, Vice Chairman Joe Mulholland, Peter McLernon Treasurer and James Ruddy Secretary.

The AGM was held on Sunday 2nd January 1972 and sadly it was to be the last for 5 years. Twenty five members were present and the ongoing problem of a pitch was the main topic. At this stage the club were training on a field of Jim Loughrans but it was not suitable for playing matches on. The team were registered in the Championship and Feis Shield for that year and were to play their home games at Kildress. The first match on Sunday 7th May 1972 against Derrytresk however was to be their final game as they could only field 13 players. On 6th June 1972 a special meeting was called and after a vote it was decided to disband the club. It was a dark day for Rock St Patrick's but the unavailability of players and with no home venue for games, this was the only option the club could take.

Jim McCreesh wins Ulster Under-21 title with Tyrone.

Soon hope was on the horizon that Rock St Patrick's would re-organise and with the formation of a new youth club called "Rock Tir Na Og" and the number of juveniles boys rising an under-16 team was formed with challenge games taking place. In 1976 the youth club under the Chairmanship of Aenas Quinn organised a sports day in a field belonging to Leo and Peter Fox of Knockavaddy, with the main events being Gaelic Football at juvenile and Old Crocks levels. After the sports day the field was to be used by the youth regularly and the seeds again had been sown for the new beginning of Rock St Patrick's.

1977 A New Beginning

After 5 years of hibernation on Sunday 19th January 1977 Rock St Patrick's held an meeting to discuss the possibility of getting back into Junior football in County Tyrone the new committee was elected as follows:

The newly elected committee met the Tyrone County Board and after some deliberation and when Rock St Patrick's met the criteria outlined they were admitted into the all County League Division 5B for the year 1977 with Liam Heaney (RIP) in charge of the team. Our good neighbours Kildress Wolfe Tones allowed us to use their pitch for home games. The new look team had a blend of youth and a few old hands from the old team which consisted of the following: Pat Devlin, Charlie and Frank O'Neill, Dessie McGurk, Joe Herron, MJ McCourt, Liam Heaney (RIP), Dessie Mullan, Stephen, Peter and Francis Kilpatrick, Peter Mallon, Kieran and Eugene Mullan, Peter Cush, Paul and Martin Kolbohm, Michael and Stephen McVeigh (RIP), Eugene McCourt and Seamus McKernan.


Following the AGM of 1978 the committee from the previous year got a vote of confidence and the first big breakthrough was the leasing of a field from Mrs Veronica Devlin at Tullyreavey. This field was used for training and playing matches on, a new strip of yellow jersey with green collar and cuffs, with green togs and yellow socks with green trimmings was also purchased. Better news was to follow that Rock players from neighbouring clubs were transferring back to commence playing again. These players included Peter and Kevin McElhatton, Plunkette Campbell and Lawrence Kelly. The new trainer was Kildress Wolfe Tone player and ex-county star Frank McGurk. Rock were to play in the new A.C.L. Division 6 which was still Junior status.

Youth teams were also started up with an under-14 side and an under-21 side being formed. The under-14 side under Patsy Heaney were to lift the Frank Wilson Cup at the Kildress tournament. Felix McVeigh (RIP) was in charge of the under-21 side and they too were making progress and towards the end of 1978 Pat Casey was introduced to coach the under-21 side, this was to be an significant importance for Rock St Patrick's in the next few years.

Eugene Mullan wins Ulster Minor title with Tyrone.

1979-The Casey Era

The Annual General meeting held on 19th January 1979 saw a number of changes in personal on the club committee with the following members selected:

The committee appointed Pat Casey as team trainer and manager. Pat Casey's new style of coaching, methods of training and discipline and above all exciting football, played by a team full of confidence and entertaining to watch, was to help the club emerge out of the doldrums of Junior football. The Tyrone leagues were again re-structured and Rock St Patrick's were to play in Division 3. This season was to prove to be highly successful with Rock St Patrick's finishing 5th in the League and reaching the Championship semi-final to be beaten by eventual winners Moy. Micky Joe McCourt also proved to be a brave man in 1979 when he agreed to take up refereeing on behalf of the club.