In 1947 the Cavan and Kerry teams arrived in NY for the All Ireland Final. This momentous occasion sparked a surge in interest in the NY GAA and within months of their departure a host of new clubs had been formed in the city. Natives of County Tyrone held a meeting and felt that the time had arrived when their colors should be proudly displayed on the field at Croke Park (now Gaelic Park) and the club officially launched in 1949. People like Mike Meehan, Peter Toal, Terry McGuinness, Michael McCaughey, Stephen Donnelly, Jim McCullagh, Paddy Gillen, Peter Connolly, Peter McSwiggan, Maurice Donnelly and Jim McElroy were instrumental in organizing the new club.
Junior Success in 1951:
From it's conception Tyrone's standing in the Junior ranks continually improved. They pushed eventual winners St Pius all the way in the knockout stages in 1950 and in 1951 made it to their first final against a heavily favored Offaly combination. The game ended on a controversial note with Tyrone pushing forward in the dying minutes attempting to cut Offaly's one point lead. From a tussle on the left sideline, 25 yards out from the Offaly goals, Tyrone forced a sideline free. An Offaly defender went down injured and his colleagues came out to surround their fallen teammate. As far as the Tyrone players were concerned it was an attempt to run down the clock and hold on to Offaly's lead. They saw no reason to wait, the free was taken and resulted in a goal which proved to be the last and vital score of the game. At the following week's NY GAA meeting Offaly lodged an objection to the outcome of the game but the board could find no rule which Tyrone had broken and the result stood with Tyrone claiming their first ever New York title.
Result: Tyrone 3-2 Offaly 1-6
Tyrone Panel: Charles McHugh, Con Laverty, Colm Meenan, James Breslin, Pat McNellis, Patrick Carr, Sean Reilly, Pat Walsh, Michael Devine, Michael Feeney, Michael McCaultry, Paul Crotty, Pat O'Connor, Michael Dunleavy, Jim Breslin, Dan Austin, Michael Colton, Colm Kane, Colm Niblock, Terry McGuinness, Eddie McCafferty, Fr. Peter Campbell, Jerry Larkin, Colm Bradley. Manager: Terry McGuinness
The team competed in the Senior league for the following two years but by 1954 so many of the panel had been drafted into service by the U.S. Government that it was felt necessary to withdraw from competition that season. In fact it was not until 1957 that Tyrone reformed with Father Peter Campbell (Coalisland), Frank Canavan (Brockagh), Charlie Laverty (Moy), James and Charles Teague (Ardboe), Terry McGuinness and Michael Taggart (Clonmore) and Charlie Hunter (Omagh) leading the way.
The 60s and the Glorious 70s:
In the late 60s the club, managed by Charlie Teague, participated in the Senior B division. Inspired by their captain, Brendan Donnelly, they won the league championship in both 1968 and 1969. Consequently they were promoted to the premier division for the 1970 season. In just their first year there, under Charlie Teague, they showed that they had the talent and the motivation to stand shoulder to shoulder with the best the Big Apple had to offer. They produced one magnificent display after another to earn a semi-final spot against Kerry. Goals from Dessie Ryan and Seamus Graham saw them earn their final spot, beating Kerry 2-4 to 5 points.
The final against Cork in October 1971, was a nerve wreaking affair. Trailing by 3 points when Malachy Foster scored the equalising goal they were spurred on to claim 4 precious points while Cork could only reply with 1. Tyrone became the first Northern County since 1937 to be crowned the Champions of NY Football.
Result: Tyrone 2-9 Cork 2-6
As defending champions Tyrone battled through the following league and championship season to reappear on final day in August 1972 when they came up against Cavan. It was John Early from Coalisland whose performance turned the tide in favor of Tyrone. He was involved in virtually every score. With goal keeper Phil Pearson keeping a clean sheet Cavan found it impossible to erase the commanding lead Tyrone had amassed and it was Dessie Ryan who held the cup aloft on another glorious day for the club.
Result: Tyrone 0-10 Cavan 0-5
In 1974 Tyrone again made it to the finals but disagreement in the committee room would deprive them of the opportunity of playing for a 3rd Senior title. They had beaten Sligo 2-9 to 2-7 in the semi-final but when it came time for a final date with Donegal to be arranged, agreement between the clubs could not be reached over a period of months and as a consequence there was no winner declared for that season!
Team: Phil Pearson, PJ Quinn, Peter Coyle, Mick McGrath, Ollie Nugent, Bosco O'Neill, Aidan Meenan, Jake Quinn, Gerry Taggart, Patsy Hetherington, Liam Turbett, Seamus Graham, M. Coyle, Sean Coyle, Brendan Haughey, Des Ryan.
Manager: Charlie Teague
Due to the return to Ireland of many of their players, Tyrone had to rebuild their team in the late 70s. This reconstruction was centered around Frank McGuigan who arrived in NY on a US tour with the All Stars in 1977. It wasn't long before McGuigan made his presence felt along with fellow Ardboe man Sean Coyle. In 1979 Tyrone reached their third Senior Championship Final. Ten minutes into the game McGuigan sustained a serious injury. Without his leadership it was Leitrim who were the victors with a final score of 1-12 to 1-7.
The following year Tyrone got their revenge against Leitrim in what has to be regarded as one of their most determined showings in any final. Leitrim ran up a three point lead before Tyrone forced their way back to level terms with Frank McGuigan thundering the ball home from the penalty spot. They trailed by 1 at half time but pressed forward early in the second half only to have a blistering drive from Damian O'Hagan crash against the crossbar and rebound a full 25 yards back into play. Leitrim led by 3 entering the final minutes but John Corvan and Pat Spillane brought it back to a 1 point deficit. With only a matter of seconds left on the clock Ambrose Rodgers (Longstone, Co. Down) gained possesion and from fifty yards out soloed in to within twenty five yards where he unleashed a torpedo like shot that flashed past keeper Paul Byrne for a sensational winner.
Team: Jake Quinn, Canice Woods, Gerry Taggart, Mickey Hughes, Noel Coyle, Kevin McCabe, Mickey Berryman, Gerry McCallin, Ambrose Rodgers, Kevin Toner, Damian O'Hagan, Pat Spillane, John Corvan, Frank McGuigan, Aidan Campbell.
Manager: Rocky Gallagher.
In 1981 Rocky Gallagher led his team back to another final, this time against Cavan. It was a completely one sided game with Tyrone winning 2-13 to 6 points. With the Senior title safely locked up, the Juniors had an opportunity to make it a first ever double when they met Sligo in the Junior final. Unfortunately it was not to be with Sligo winning 1-12 to 2-4.
A fourth consecutive Senior final beckoned in 1982. Tyrone, thanks to Sean Coyle's personal tally of 3-3, beat Connemara 3-9 to 1-8 in the semi to gain their final spot against Cavan. This final was to become known in NY as the "Kerry Split" with the All Ireland finalists contributing nine players to the contest. Ger O'Keefe, Eoin Liston, Jack O'Shea, Vincent O'Connor and Paudie O'Shea lined out for Cavan while John McElligott and the three Spillane brothers played for Tyrone. It was an intruiging battle with Tyrone setting the early pace and at one point were 6 points clear. However, Cavan pulled level with just 6 minutes remaining and snapped up 3 late points to take the win 1-14 to 2-8.
In 1983 Tyrone appeared in their 5th successive final this time against a Leitrim team containing a grouping of Dublin Inter county stars. Controversy surfaced when Brian Mullins stepped out for Leitrim despite having been suspended for the infamous tunnel row in the All Ireland final against Galway some weeks earlier. As NY was not affiliated to Croke park at the time, his participation was apparently not contrary to any bye law in the NY rule book and he was allowed to play. Tyrone held the upper hand for three quarters of an hour but their inability to apply the finishing touches to their shell shocked opponents was to cost dearly as Leitrim rallied and leveled the score 2-8 to 2-8 at full time. The date set for the replay coincided with an NFL Sunday back in Ireland so the majority of the "weekenders" were unable to make the journey back for game 2. It was undoubtedly a more dogged contest but Tyrone would rule supreme with their 5th title assured in the 41st minute when Sean Coyle's thunderbolt strike was blocked on the line by Leitrim keeper Brendan Carroll. Keiran Power made the contact to force the ball over the line for the all important strike that changed the course of the game. Tyrone won with a score of 1-4 to 0-5. This triumph was to signal the end of Tyrone's reign and for the next decade they would find the goal of reaching championship finals an impossible one. The disappointment of losses in playoff matches were heart breaking for the club and it would be 1993 before they qualified for another championship final.
In 1993 Tyrone met Leitrim in the championship final held at Rockland State Park. At the halfway point Tyrone was up by 2 points but in the second half it was Leitrim who came to the fore with their halfback line of Mick Maloney, Mike Brosnan and Jimmy Donohue setting up a procession of scoring opportunities. Tyrone were denied a 6th senior title and Leitrim took the win 0-12 to 0-7
Team: Noel Bonner, John Hughes, Chris Lawn, Paddy Kearney, Damien Hagan, Fergal McCusker, Kieran McGeeney, Johnny Driscoll, Aidan Kilpatrick, Seamus McCatlin, Ciaran Loughran, Stephen Lawn, Terry McGoldrick, Adrian Cush, Audie Hamilton, Paddy McGuigan.
Managers: Pat Maguire and Kevin Campbell.
Reverse immigration greatly affected the club throughout the 1990s stripping it of many of it's best base players and in 1998 the team had a Battle Royale to avoid the dreaded drop to division 2. They did manage to maintain their premier status and once again showed their fiery determination when they beat Roscommon in that October's play off game.