NORMAN WHITESIDE
 
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Full Name 
Norman Whiteside
Date of Birth
 7th May 1965
Place of Birth
Belfast
Position 
Forward/Midfielder
Height 
6ft 2
Squad Number
10
.....
Whiteside's United Record 1982-1989
Total  Appearances        254 (18)

Total Goals               67
...
Whiteside's International Record
1982-1989

38 caps for Northern Ireland
 ..
Honours with United

1983 F.A. Cup
1983 Charity Shield
1985 F.A. Cup
 
Norman Whiteside will always be remembered for being the youngest at everything. At 17 he was the youngest United player to play for the first team since Duncan Edwards, the youngest player to score in an FA Cup Final ,and, the youngest player ever to appear in the World Cup Finals, for Northern Ireland in 1982.Big Norman was pure class, powerful and strong, he was lethal in the air and could shoot with both power and accuracy. He was also never afraid to try something different or unexpected making him a constant threat to opposing defences.

His strength frequently allowed him to turn defenders and steal a yard of space, for his only flaw was a lack of pace.Alex Ferguson said "If Norman had a yard more pace he would have been one of the greatest players ever produced in British football".

He was often a physical player who loved to get stuck in but you never sensed he was being overly malicious or dirty.In fact the fans loved him all the more for it ,as it showed his drive and committment.Alex Ferguson remembering a game against Arsenal in 1986, laughed "Big Norman Whiteside kicked everybody up and down the pitch for 90 minutes and did'nt even get booked!" Norman made up for that though,he was a player capable of scoring goals that only the most gifted of players could score, his cup final winner a prime example.

Born in North Belfast, Norman was spotted by United's legendary Ulster scout Bob Bishop, the man also responsible for bringing George Best and Sammy McILroy to Old Trafford.He made his United debut in the Spring of 1982 against Brighton before making history in the World Cup with Northern Ireland.It was during those finals in which Norman first became famous, as he helped N Ireland suprise and delight everyone by reaching the Quarter-finals. The following season United reached the League Cup final, in which he scored another "youngest ever" goal and then again in the FA Cup Final replay against Brighton in United's 4-0 win.

The next few years were the high point of his career both for United and Northern Ireland.His most famous moment came in 1985 when United played the then champions Everton in the FA Cup Final.At 0-0 in extra time, reduced to ten men, United were up against it and an Everton winner seemed likely.Then, Big Norman went on a run down the right wing and curled in a superb bending shot from 20 yards to beat Everton keeper Southall.It won goal of the season and sealed undoubtedly United's greatest FA Cup Final win.

The following seasons saw Whiteside adopt a more deeper position in midfield, he would captain both United (in Robson's absence) and Northern Ireland. Sadly, injuries and suspensions saw his career take a down-turn around 1988 and Alex Ferguson began reshaping his team.An unhappy Norman did not seem to figure in the managers plans, hampered by a recurring knee injury he was sold to Everton in 1989 for £600,000. After 2 years with the blues the knee trouble got worse and he was forced to retire at 27.Not the sort of man for self-pity he went back to University were he built a career as a specialist in sports injuries to the feet.

Norman Whiteside still remains an all-time United hero to this day.A beacon of hope in what was a decade of under-achievement, a highly gifted player who captured the hearts and imaginations of the United fans, he is fondly remembered and appreciated for what he did for Manchester United.



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