Big Norman has confirmed he will attend our annual dinner on 13th May 2017.
Norman achieved legendary status when he became Manchester United’s youngest player since Duncan Edwards. From that moment on he was a cult hero.
He played on the international stage for Northern Ireland. He played in two World Cups and remains the youngest player ever to appear in the tournament.
Norman made his Manchester United debut on 24 April 1982 against Brighton & Hove Albion.He was just 16 years of age when he came on as a substitute as United won 0-1 at the Goldstone Ground through a Ray Wilkins goal. Norman scored his first goal for United on 15 May 1982, which was also his first start, against Stoke City at Old Trafford.He retained his position in the team at the beginning of the 1982/83 season and he went on to play 57 times for United scoring 14 goals. One of those goals was United’s only goal in a 2-1 defeat against Liverpool in the League Cup final.
He was the youngest ever goal scorer in the League Cup Final at just 17 years of age. He emulated this feat in the FA Cup Final in May 1983. The final had gone to a replay and Norman scored the second goal against Brighton & Hove Albion as Manchester United won 4-0. The 1982/83 season was the high water mark in terms of appearances and goals for Whiteside with United. During the 1983/84 Norman made 51 appearances and scored 12 goals. The next season provided the highlight of his career with Manchester United. Although he was beginning to be affected by injuries he still managed 39 appearances one of which was the memorable 1985 FA Cup final against Everton. It was memorable because fellow-Irishman Kevin Moran became the first player ever sent off in a final. It was also memorable for a sublime goal scored by Whiteside in extra time that won the FA Cup for United. Norman won the Goal of the Season award for 1984/85 for that goal against Everton.
Recurring knee injuries blighted Norman’s career thereafter and he missed a full year of football from April 1988 to April 1989. United Manager Alex Ferguson, who had taken up the reins in November 1986, had decided to ring the changes at the club and decided to let him go. In August 1989 he was transferred to Everton for a fee of £600,000. Despite the disappointing end to his Manchester United career Norman Whiteside’s bristling aggressive style of play with his knack of scoring important goals made him a big favourite with the Old Trafford crowd.