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Norman Whiteside 1981-1989 274 games 67 goals

November 15, 2009

Written by: Robi Prosser

Norman Whitside was a rare and prodigious talent. By the time he was 20, he had achieved more than most players do in their whole career, by playing in the World Cup Finals and winning the FA Cup twice.
Whiteside was discovered by Bob Bishop, the same Manchester United scout who also discovered George Best 15 years earlier. Whiteside was brought over to Old Trafford from West Belfast as a 13 year-old schoolboy in September 1978. In april 1982, at just 16 years old, Whiteside made is debut as a substitute against Brighton and Hove Albion. That summer he deposed Pele as the youngest-ever player to appear in the World Cup Finals aged 17 years and 41 days old.

The following season was just as momentous for Whiteside. He began to command a regular place in the United starting line up and scored in both the FA Cup and League Cup finals, becoming the youngest player to do so. Whiteside’s greatest moment came in the 1985 FA Cup Final, when he charged down the Wembley turf deep into extra time and curled a stunning shot from an almost impossible angle to beat Neville Southall in the Everton goal to win the cup.
An extremely competitive footballer, Norman Whiteside’s temper often got the better of him, and led to several dismissals and suspensions. For a time the press give him the name “Nasty Norman”.
In 1986 Norman again played at the World Cup Finals, but his game at Old Trafford was suffering, becoming even more physical less skillful. He struggled with both form and fitness before being sold to Everton in 1989, for £750,000, he retired from the game within two years due to injury at the age of just 26 years old.

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