Anderton has decided to retire from football at Bournemouth.
He told the Sun: “I don’t have many regrets. But, with hindsight, when Manchester United came along in 1995 maybe I should have gone.
“I had a clause in my contract at Tottenham saying I could leave if another club offered so much, which United did.
“I spoke with Alex Ferguson and he wanted me to go there. But the following day I went to see Spurs chairman Alan Sugar and he wouldn’t let me leave his house until I had signed a new deal.
“He’d already lost Jurgen Klinsmann, Nicky Barmby and Gica Popescu that year and probably thought it would kill him if another player left.
“When I went to meet him, he had Spurs manager Gerry Francis there along with my trusted adviser Leon Angel. He even had his chef present to cook me a nice meal.
“Sugar looked after me, to be fair, and I signed the deal. But perhaps I should have gone. After that I picked up injuries and United went on to win the title.
“Had I left, I would have had a Premier League medal to my name.
“But my decision to stay at Spurs opened the door for Becks and the rest, as they say, is history.
“It’s where it all started for Becks — and I hope he remembers that! I like to think I was responsible for giving his career a helping hand.”
He admitted: “It’s becoming a bit of a slog and, instead of waiting until I’m really not enjoying it, I thought I’d call it a day now. I’m finding it hard work at present, both mentally and physically.
“Bournemouth manager Jimmy Quinn understands, I think. I’ve been considering it for a few weeks.
“It’s not so much the playing, it’s more the everyday thing of getting yourself up to go into training. I’ve been doing it for around 20 years and I’ve just had enough.
“I still think I can affect things out on the pitch — maybe not as much as I used to — but it’s the training.
“Getting up at this time of year is becoming more and more difficult. I certainly won’t miss training or pre-season.”