Ivan Grenfell HOLLIDAY


Guernsey Number: 7
Career: 1945 to 1948
NFC Games: 38
NFC Goals: 0
Debut: v North Adelaide (Norwood) 28th April 1945
Finale: v West Adelaide (Adelaide) 26th April 1948

Premierships: 1946
South Australian Games: 4


Wartime competition 1942-1944
Norwood-North games: 12
Norwood-North goals: 0

Ivan Holliday was a prodigy.  He had just turned 20 when he won the Cox Brothers Trophy for best player in the 1946 grand final, in which Norwood beat Port Adelaide, 13.14 to 9.10. Looking back, team-mate Doug Drage said  Ivan could have been another Barrie Robran but for a crippling knee injury which kept him out the following season and forced him to retire after just one game in 1948.

But Ivan Grenfell Holliday left an imposing record.  He was a gifted sportsman at Norwood High School and played in the North Adelaide Colts premiership team of 1942.

A rangy, strong-marking half-back, he was only 17 when he made his senior debut with Norwood-North in 1944, standing Bob Hank in his first game and going on to another premiership.

He was named Norwood’s best backman in 1945 and 1946.

He also represented the state five times and earned his spurs at Princes Park in 1946 when South Australia drew with a Victorian team which included nine current or future Brownlow Medallists. Ivan at 19 was the second-youngest player in the team – after Norwood teammate Doug Olds, 18 - and began at half-back.  But when giant Victorian forward Fred Fanning kicked four goals in the first quarter, SA captain Bob Quinn said to young Ivan: “Think you can handle the big fella?”  Vice-captain Jack Oatey though the kid would be slaughtered but Ivan kept Fanning goalless until he got a cheap one in the last few minutes.

After football, Ivan went on to a distinguished career in town planning, overseeing the West Lakes project. He wrote wholly or jointly 16 books on native plants and was awarded an OAM in 2004 for his environmental work. He played senior cricket with East Torrens and Kensington (where he was a life member).

His younger son Michael played five games with Norwood before a knee injury also ended his career.

P Robins January 2013

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