Arnold Sidebottom Profile

Arnold Sidebottom

Man­chester Uni­ted Facts­book Fea­ture: Ar­nold Side­bot­tom, born Barns­ley, Eng­land, April 1, 1954. Ar­nold Side­bot­tom joi­ned Man­chester Uni­ted as an am­a­teur play­er mid­way thro­ugh the 1970-71 sea­son and agreed to pro­fes­sion­al terms wi­th the club in Feb­ruary 1972. A de­term­ined de­fender, he la­ter played for Hud­dersfield To­wn and Hal­i­fax To­wn in a soc­cer ca­reer which spanned clo­se to a decade.

Af­ter dom­in­at­ing Brit­ish and Euro­pean foot­ball through­out most of the 1960´s, Man­chester Uni­ted ex­per­i­enced a dra­mat­ic and sub­stan­tial de­cline in the early part of the 1970´s, and it hardly came as a sur­prise to any­one when hard pressed and over­worked Old Traf­ford man­ager Frank O´Farrell re­ceived the sack fol­low­ing an ut­terly em­bar­rass­ing and hu­mi­li­at­ing 5-0 Fir­st Di­vi­sion de­feat ag­ainst Crys­tal Pal­ace at Sel­hurst Park shortly be­fore Christ­mas 1972. But as for Ar­nold Side­bot­tom, he fi­nally ended his long wait for his fir­st te­am de­but when he was han­ded his fir­st Foot­ball Lea­gue ap­pear­ance by new head coach Tom­my Doc­herty in a 2-1 de­feat ag­ainst Sheff­field Uni­ted in front of a ho­me at­tend­ance of more than 57,000 spec­tat­ors at Old Traf­ford on the 23rd of April 1973, and his sec­ond seni­or out­ing for the si­de came in a 1-0 loss to Chel­sea at Stam­ford Bridge on the last day of the me­diocre 1972-73 sea­son. The fol­low­ing Foot­ball Lea­gue cam­paign proved to be an even more trau­mat­ic one, how­ever, as Uni­ted struggled hard to win their mat­ches des­pite hav­ing a num­ber of pro­mising and lav­ishly gif­ted young play­ers on their books, and the red shirts ev­entually fou­nd them­selves re­leg­ated to the Sec­ond Di­vi­sion at the end of Docherty´s fir­st full sea­son in charge. But wi­th a re­newed vote of con­fid­ence from the Man­chester Uni­ted board of dir­ect­ors, The Doc steer­ed The Reds back to the Fir­st Di­vi­sion at the fir­st at­tempt. Like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, Uni­ted ini­ti­ated the 1974-75 cam­paign wi­th a com­fort­able and mor­ale boost­ing 2-0 vic­tory ag­ainst Ge­orge Petchey´s Ley­ton Ori­ent in front of a 18,000 ca­pa­city crowd at Bris­bane Road, and they fol­lowed up the tri­umph by out­classing and out­hust­ling Mill­wall to the tune of 4-0 at Old Traf­ford in their next fix­ture. From there, The Man­cuni­ans nev­er look­ed back and they fin­ished the sea­son in style as Sec­ond Di­vi­sion Cham­pi­ons af­ter col­lect­ing a fine total of 61 points from their 42 ga­mes played. Dur­ing the 1974–75 sea­son, Side­bot­tom re­placed Man­chester Uni­ted and Scot­land in­ter­na­tion­al centre ha­lf Jim Hol­ton, who suf­fered a broken leg dur­ing the fir­st ha­lf of a high scor­ing 4–4 Sec­ond Di­vi­sion draw ag­ainst Ste­ve Burtenshaw´s re­leg­a­tion bat­tling Shef­field Wed­nesday te­am at Hills­bor­ough on the 7th of Dec­ember 1974, but apart from a hand­ful of con­vin­cing per­form­ances, he nev­er quite made the ex­pec­ted im­pact at Old Traf­ford. And des­pite of the fact that Side­bot­tom help­ed Man­chester Uni­ted win the Eng­lish Sec­ond Di­vi­sion Cham­pi­on­ship dur­ing the spring of 1975, the old fash­ioned cent­ral de­fender nev­er really settled down at the club and wi­th com­pet­i­tion for fir­st te­am places be­com­ing in­creas­ingly strong, he failed to find a reg­u­lar berth in Tom­my Docherty´s youth­ful and pro­gress­ive si­de, and he would be­come a fringe player.

Wi­th am­bi­tious and tal­en­ted young foot­ballers such as Ar­thur Al­bis­ton, Bri­an Green­hoff, To­ny Grim­shaw, and Jim­my Nich­oll wait­ing in the wings more than ready to take the sta­ge, Ar­nold Side­bot­tom star­ted look­ing over his shoulder and, as things turned out, the ginger haired stop­per ended up play­ing for the Man­chester Uni­ted Re­serves in or­der to main­tain his mat­ch fit­ness. Then, dur­ing the winter of 1976, af­ter spend­ing five years wi­th Man­chester Uni­ted, he would wave good­bye to the club frus­trated at the lack of fir­st te­am op­por­tun­it­ies. In his brief and rather un­re­mark­able Old Traf­ford ca­reer, Side­bot­tom on­ly ma­naged to ac­cu­mu­late six­teen Foot­ball Lea­gue ap­pear­ances un­der ded­ic­ated and de­mand­ing man­ager Tom­my Doc­herty, and he ap­peared in his fi­nal com­pet­it­ive ga­me for the Man­chester te­am in a 2-0 Sec­ond Di­vi­sion de­feat ag­ainst their fel­low Fir­st Di­vi­sion pro­mo­tion hope­fuls As­ton Vil­la in front of a bois­ter­ous and en­thu­si­ast­ic 40,000 strong ho­me crowd at Vil­la Park in Birm­ing­ham on the 22nd of Feb­ruary 1975. At the end of the day, the tall and lanky cent­ral ha­lf was gran­ted a free trans­fer by Doc­herty, and sub­sequently made a move on to Foot­ball Lea­gue Di­vi­sion Four out­fit Hud­dersfield To­wn in the middle of the 1975-76 sea­son. Dur­ing his re­l­at­ively short stay wi­th Tom Johnston´s Hud­dersfield, he ap­peared in sixty-one Fourth Di­vi­sion mat­ches for the Leeds Road club be­fore he switched to their neigh­bouring rivals Hal­i­fax To­wn at the be­gin­ning of the 1978-79 cam­paign. Whi­le wi­th The Shay­men, the de­fens­ive bul­wark notched up twenty-one Lea­gue Di­vi­sion Four ap­pear­ances un­der Hal­i­fax To­wn su­premo Ge­orge Kirby be­fore he ul­ti­mately de­cided to leave the lowly pla­ced West York­shire si­de mid­way thro­ugh the 1979–80 term. Dur­ing his act­ive pro­fes­sion­al foot­balling ca­reer, the some­what un­der­rated play­er ma­naged to make a total of ninety-eight Foot­ball Lea­gue out­ings for Man­chester Uni­ted, Hud­der­sfield To­wn, and Hal­i­fax To­wn be­fore he fi­nally an­nounced his re­tire­ment from the ro­und ball ga­me in Dec­ember 1979. The Barns­ley man was also a de­cent crick­eter who went on make his de­but for York­shire Coun­ty Crick­et Club in 1973, and his son played crick­et for bo­th York­shire and Not­ting­ham­shire, as well as for The Eng­land Na­tion­al Crick­et Te­am in In­ter­na­tion­al Test Mat­ches. A highly ver­sat­ile sports­man, Ar­nold Side­bot­tom la­ter wor­ked as a coach at Wood­house Grove School and Thongs­bridge Crick­et Club in West York­shire. Ar­nold Side­bot­tom Play­ing Ca­reer: Man­chester Uni­ted, Hud­dersfield To­wn, Hal­i­fax To­wn. Man­aging Ca­reer: None.


1972-73 Sea­son:

Man­chester Uni­ted 1 Shef­field Uni­ted 2
Chel­sea 1 Man­chester Uni­ted 0

1973-74 Sea­son:

Man­chester Uni­ted 2 Queens Park Ran­gers 1
Liver­pool 2 Man­chester Uni­ted 0

1974-75 Sea­son:

Mill­wall 0 Man­chester Uni­ted 1
Man­chester Uni­ted 3 Bol­ton Wan­derers 0
Nor­wich City 2 Man­chester Uni­ted 0
Man­chester Uni­ted 4 Ox­ford Uni­ted 0
Bris­tol City 1 Man­chester Uni­ted 0
Man­chester Uni­ted 3 Burn­ley 2
Man­chester Uni­ted 2 As­ton Vil­la 1
Hull City 2 Man­chester Uni­ted 0
Man­chester Uni­ted 0 Ori­ent 0
Man­chester Uni­ted 3 Middles­brough 0
York City 0 Man­chester Uni­ted 1
Man­chester Uni­ted 2 West Brom­wich Al­bion 1
Old­ham Ath­let­ic 1 Man­chester Uni­ted 0
Man­chester Uni­ted 0 Walsall 0
Walsall 3 Man­chester Uni­ted 2
As­ton Vil­la 2 Man­chester Uni­ted 0

Total Ap­pear­ances: 20

Front Page