Norman Whiteside signed for Manchester United when he was a teenager after being spotted by United scout Bob Bishop, the same man who unearthed George Best. He spent eleven years at the club, winning two FA Cups and scoring in both finals, before moving on to Everton.
He has spoken exclusively to RoM about his time at the club and his opinion on what is going on now.
Scott: Tell us a bit about the story when you found out that United had offered you schoolboy terms when you were in America.
Norman: I was in the Oval office with the President of the USA when my teacher told me my parents phoned to say Man Utd wanted to sign me. What a start to my football career.
S: What are your first impressions of the club?
N: Friendly. I even got to meet Sir Matt and Jimmy Murphy.
S: How did it feel getting compared to George Best all the time when you were younger?
N: Took it with a pinch of salt. Didn’t bother me.
S: Do you remember much about the first goal you scored for United against Stoke?
N: Yes. It was a Stevie Coppell cross and an easy header for me to score.
S: Why did you turn down an offer from AC Milan when you were at United?
N: I hadn’t proved anything yet, it was my first season. I thought I might get a chance later in my career.
N: Both are my joint first favourite goals.
S: What were the biggest differences between Atkinson and Ferguson?
N: Big Ron just cared about being Man United. Fergie was much more detailed.
S: Who is the best player you played alongside?
N: Easy one – Robbo
S: You were the youngest player to play for United since Duncan Edwards, the youngest player to score for United, the youngest player to score in the FA and League Cup finals. What do you think about United’s policy when it comes to youth?
N: Man Utd always have and always will give youth a chance if you are good enough.
S: How did you feel when you left United for Everton?
N: Right move at the time. Everton are a great club.
S: How often do you watch United play?
N: This is my 20th season doing the cooperate stuff at Old Trafford.
S: Where do you think it all went wrong for United under Moyes?
N: Club too big for him?
S: What do you think of Van Gaal?
N: Good choice. He certainly has his own ideas.
S: Where do you think United will finish this season?
S: Which United player have you been most excited about this season?