1936 saw Chesterfield back in the Second Division and with a brand new stand.
The 1921 wooden stand was demolished over the summer and a brick and steel structure was erected. The stand was designed by Sir Archibald Leitch and built by his company at a cost of £14000. This was the stand that stood until the Club left the Recreation Ground.
The season saw the Club comfortably in mid-table with highlights including wins at Southampton and Newcastle. The visit of neighbours Sheffield United saw 26519 pack into the Rec to witness a 2-2 draw and set a new attendance record. Through Christmas Chesterfield won four in a row and the week before the cup beat Fulham 4-1.
The third round of the FA Cup that season brought cup holders, and domestic giants, Arsenal to Chesterfield. The Gunners had a team packed with household names including Ted Drake and cricketer Denis Compton who would make his test debut that year. Compton also later represented England at football albeit only in war-time games. That Arsenal side also featured cup winning skipper Alex James and club scoring legend Cliff Bastin.
Chesterfield did have an international of their own in Walter McMillen who gained four of his seven Ireland caps while with the Blues. Also in the Spireites team was Walter Ponting who netted 26 times that season and long established centre-back Allan Sliman.
The 21706 that turned up to see if the home side could upset the cup-holders was considered a disappointing crowd for such a prestigious tie. However the game was covered by the newsreels so would have been seen by millions in cinemas around the country over the next week or so.
The match started competitively but in an era with no substitutes the loss of Chesterfield’s Chick Read after just twenty minutes changed the game. A Drake goal giving the First Division side a half-time lead. The situation got worse for the home side early in the second-half when Jack Seagrave was injured. The injured men carried on but Seagrave was culpable for Drake’s second before Bobby Davidson got a third. Allan Sliman pulled one back for Chesterfield from the penalty spot but the England centre-forward completed his hat-trick to make it four. Another England international Alf Kirchen made it 5-1 just before the final whistle.
Arsenal also scored five in the next round, this time against Manchester United. They went two better in round five by putting seven past Burnley before West Bromwich Albion put them out in the quarter-finals.