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09/03/2013 09:39, Report by Adam Marshall
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Whiteside's Cup hat-trick

Norman Whiteside scored his only hat-trick for Manchester United in a 4-2 win against West Ham in the 1985 FA Cup quarter-finals. 

The man who would go on to score the beautiful winner in the final against Everton that year spoke recently to United Review to recall that afternoon at Old Trafford, 28 years ago today (Saturday 9 March). 

"I remember it was the perfect hat-trick – right foot, left foot and a header! Of course, the last one was from the penalty spot and there had been an air of controversy over who was going to take it.

"Little Gordon Strachan had missed a few, even though he normally scored and had converted a number of them on the bounce. But he’d had a bit of a wobble so we needed someone to step up to the plate and I did it. I was going to take it anyway – it wasn’t a case of grabbing the ball to complete my treble on the day. Gordon was the one brought down but he walked away shrugging his shoulders and smiling. He was saying: ‘I’ve done my bit and now it’s up to someone else’.

"There wasn’t long left and it finally killed West Ham off at 4-2. It was a really good game considering the state of the pitch. If you compare it to the surfaces these days, it had no grass on it and was unbelievable really. From what I remember, West Ham knocked it around impressively and caught us out on a couple of occasions because it was a really open cup tie. The Hammers were always a good footballing side and had a number of players who were terrific footballers so we knew a good game was in store.

"Mark Hughes played up front and opened the scoring. I’d just reverted to midfield as ‘Sparky’ and I reversed roles that season. He’d started out in midfield as a kid while I moved back as Ron Atkinson decided to turn things around.

"After Graeme Hogg’s own goal levelled the scores, I was in the right place at the right time to restore the lead. Big Paul McGrath headed the ball back when it was cleared and, although I was falling backwards, I managed to make contact to head it past Tom McAlister in the West Ham net. For my second strike, Graeme picked me out from a free-kick.

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