He appeared in the Manchester side that won in 1983 – scoring in the 4-0 replay victory over Brighton – and struck the single goal in extra time to secure the cup two years later against Everton.
Memorabilia from those glory days topped the Ewbank’s (25% buyer’s premium) auction on July 29 in Send, Surrey, dedicated to 60 lots consigned by Whiteside himself from his career collection. It produced a white-glove sale, netting an overall hammer total of £194,680 (£253,084 with fees).
The Northern Irish striker set more than his fair share of ‘firsts’: he was the youngest player to appear in a World Cup, the youngest to score in a League Cup final and FA Cup final, made his debut for Man Utd at 16 and was their youngest captain at the age of 20.
Some of the lots on offer had been in the Man Utd museum for 30-odd years.
At the sale his FA Cup winner’s medal from 1983 sold for £24,000 to a Hong Kong buyer against an estimate of £10,000-15,000, the shirt worn in the 1985 triumph took £23,000 (£4000-6000) also from a Hong Kong buyer, and his 1985 winner’s medal doubled top estimate at £30,000, going to a buyer from Cheshire.
The Mitre Delta 1000 ball used in the final, signed by various players including Bryan Robson, more than doubled top estimate at £9000, also heading to Hong Kong. If that was slightly beyond your budget you could have had his 1985 match-worn shorts for £1500 (£800-1200).
Another strong feature of the auction were World Cup shirts and international caps from Whiteside’s 38 Northern Ireland appearances (nine goals).
Whiteside beat Pele’s record as the youngest World Cup player ever in NI’s 0-0 draw with Yugoslavia at the 1982 tournament in Spain. Aged 17 years and 41 days, he had played only two competitive games at club level by that point.
The shirt he wore against Spain in the 1982 World Cup sold just above estimate at £4200 (a Midlands buyer), but it was the following lot that had always been likely to take a big price: his match shirt from that record-breaking Yugoslavia game, guided at £5000-8000. Sure enough, it took £18,000 from a Hong Kong buyer.
Among tops he had swapped after matches, a Michel Platini match shirt took £7500 (also a Hong Kong buyer) against a guide of £2000-4000 and one worn by Ray Wilikins made a top-estimate £4000 (Midlands buyer).
Secure the future
Whiteside scored 68 goals in 278 league appearances, ending his career through injury at Everton in 1991.
Pre-sale, he said: “No one’s pressurised me to do it, but now I’m turning 55 I want to make sure that all my pension provisions are in place. I get a small pension from my footballing days, but we didn’t earn much in those days before the Premiership, so I want to put that together with what the auction will raise to secure the future.”