Norman’s still looking on the Whiteside of life
Belfast-born Manchester United and Everton legend Norman Whiteside came home last night to regale fans with tales of an impressive, if short-lived, professional footballing career.
Whiteside took us through some of his 235 appearances, 56 goals and two FA Cup medals.
It was very much after-dinner speech territory, albeit without the dinner. But things livened up in the subsequent Q&A session.
Interspersing his responses with corny jokes, often at the expense of former team-mates and managers, Whiteside had the partisan crowd eating out of his hand.
There were some irritating sound issues, but Whiteside proved amiable and at times edgy, not least when cracking an astonishing gag about a historic rape allegation against a fellow Manchester United player.
A reliance on cliché and a reluctance to dig too deep into the behind-the-scenes goings on at his former club let him down.
Still, it would be hard to begrudge a man who has parlayed his name and his philosophy into a catchphrase: “Always look on the Whiteside of life”.