The Reds managed to get the transfer completed of course and Fotherby admits it was a fabulous piece of business from Sir Alex.
"There is no other assessment you can make other than Eric was absolutely magnificent for them," he conceded. "But we got something similar when we got Gordon Strachan from them. He took us from Division Two to champions. Before that, Jonny Giles came from Manchester United and look what he did for Leeds. It happens. Sometimes people just move to a certain club at a certain time and become something they would never have been anywhere else. The fact it was Manchester United gave it an edge I suppose but they were the ones who made the offer.
"Howard Wilkinson was an absolute perfectionist. He wanted his players to be disciplined and adhere to a certain team pattern. Eric just didn't fit it. Alex Ferguson gave him a free role and probably wasn't quite as strict with Eric as Howard would have been. Eric liked to play to the crowd. That wasn't Howard's way at all. It is wonderful to have someone like that in your team, who can produce that little bit of magic, but not if it came at the expense of the team.
"If the situation came round again, I would do exactly the same thing. When Howard said find a club for him, I did it."