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Norman Whiteside

Norman Whiteside

Norman Whiteside was a classy, powerful player who first emerged on the scene as a precocious teenager. He had great aerial strength and was also good on the floor, making him a real handful for defenders.

A Belfast boy, he was spotted by the same scout who discovered George Best and had almost as much ability as his fellow countryman.

Naturally enough, Whiteside broke various records early in his career. He became the youngest player to play for Manchester United since Duncan Edwards; the youngest player ever to appear in the World Cup Finals, and the youngest goalscorer in an FA Cup Final.

His physical presence often enabled him to get past defenders, which was especially important as he was not blessed with great pace. The Old Trafford fans loved Whiteside – nicknamed the ‘Shankhill Skinhead’ by the tabloid press – for his physical approach as well as his ability to score goals.

It helped, of course, that he was not a shy lad and seemed to thrive when the pressure was really on such as the 1985 FA Cup final, when he scored the winner, and his strike in the losing 1983 League Cup final.