Clubs that are the closest of rivals pull together at times of great adversity. It was with great appreciation, rather than surprise, then, that Mansfield Town allowed Ivan Hollett to come to Saltergate in December 1964, in the wake of the death of Ralph Hunt.
Ivan had scored 40 times for The Stags in 98 games after signing from Sutton Town, and they asked only a small fee for a man with such a respectable scoring record, but even then Chesterfield had to pay it in instalments and were only able to go ahead with the move after the Supporters' Club scraped the cash together. Chesterfield might have had him for nowt, since Ivan appeared for The Spireites in a youth team game in October 1956, but nothing came of that.
A centre-forward in the traditional mould, Ivan became hugely popular at Chesterfield, scoring a good ratio of goals with his head, and his value soared: when rumours of Stoke's interest in him surfaced in December 1966, Tony McShane valued him at around £20,000.
Ivan's form lapsed at the start of the `68-9 season and he was sold to Crewe after losing his place to Ernie Moss and being transfer-listed at his own request. He went on to play in both Cambridge's and Hereford's first League seasons. While at Gresty Road, he very nearly got his move to Stoke: a deal was agreed between the clubs but Ivan suffered a bad injury in his last match before going, and his opportunity to play First Division football was lost.
Ivan played for both Cambridge United and Hereford United during their first seasons in the Football League and served local non-league sides well on the playing side before hanging up his boots.
After football, he took a job in the mining industry while moving into the non-league game, and is still a familiar sight at non-league grounds in the area, scouting for Mansfield Town, who he has served in a number of youth-oriented roles. Ivan worked as an area sales rep. for a Northampton metals company but returned to full-time football as youth team coach to Mansfield Town.
For Chesterfield: 157 Football League appearances, 62 goals.