“If Norman had a yard more pace he would have been one of the greatest players ever produced in British football”.
– Sir Alex Ferguson gave a lot of insights about his first six years before winning the league title at Man United in his book Alex Ferguson: 6 Years at United
“He would be classed, certainly, as a Busby Babe in the old sense. We had really skillful young players, that suddenly had to play with men, and that’s what Norman Whiteside has done.”
“The first time I met Norman I was speechless, literally. It was in 1993 and I’d blagged my way into the players’ lounge at Old Trafford. Rambling incessantly to Gary Pallister and Steve Bruce, I was suddenly introduced to the big man and was struck dumbstruck.
“I wanted to speak, I tried to speak, but the only words that formed in my mind were, ‘I love you, Norman. I’ve always loved you and I always will’. It seemed a bit early in our relationship to confess this, so I just stood there – mute and gormless.”
– Jimmy Nesbitt, an actor and a good friend of Norman, wrote in the foreword to Whiteside’s very interesting Determined: The Autobiography
“I felt the excitement that is felt by watching a player of the highest class. He had self-assurance that was extraordinary in a twenty-one-year-old. The excellence of his technique gave him easy mastery of the ball and he had the gift of making time for himself in the stamp of quality. He was an island of composure, looking up and unhurriedly making his decisions. He rarely surrendered possession and he increased the angle and weight of his passes so well that the receiver never had to fight the ball. His eyes were as cold as steel and he had the temperament to match. As a player, he was close to the genius category.”
– Sir Alex Ferguson praised Norman Whiteside after a fantastic display in United’s 1-0 victory over Liverpool at Anfield on Boxing Day 1986.
“Well, I’m scared of anybody who has got the ball coming towards me. But with Norman, you’ve got to admire him because he’s got the courage to go in where it hurts.”
– Bruce Grobbelaar
“He is physical and hard, but if I was 6ft 1 and 13 stone, I would be physical and hard as well.”
– Gordon Strachan
“If you know you can kick someone who is going to kick you back, it’s not too bad. It’s the sneaky ones you worry about. Certainly, Whiteside isn’t sneaky in any shape or form.”
– Mark Lawrenson
“He’s got a great temperament, a superb competitor. I still shudder a little bit. I remember in Valencia on the big night when they beat Spain, when he went and kicked Juanito, a Spanish idol at the time, he (Whiteside) kicked him into the front row of the terraces. Well, I thought “He’s got to have some bottle to do that.”.
– Ron Atkinson
A few of the quotes on Norman Whiteside mentioned above didn’t have proper source. Some quotes were only available on the site Retroshirtcity.com
Founder and editor of Footiecentral. A voracious reader who loves reading anything and everything related to the history of football. He’s an ardent supporter of Manchester United and rarely misses a match.