A RUGBY league player was jailed for two years for killing a father-of-two with a single punch.
Tony Sheffield, a player with Underbank Rangers at Holmfirth, hit Paul Molloy so hard it caused bleeding to the base of his brain.
Mr Molloy collapsed outside a club on Manchester's Canal Street. He was taken to the Manchester Royal Infirmary, but never regained consciousness and died just hours later.
After the incident Sheffield was seen walking away with his arms outstretched in triumph.
He was eventually identified as the attacker and at Manchester Crown Court admitted manslaughter.
He was told by Mr Justice Hodge: "You are a successful sporting person, but I regard this as gratuitous street violence which cannot be tolerated."
The judge, who had watched CCTV footage showing the incident last May, added: "You punched him in a very fierce way. It was an entirely unprovoked attack on an innocent and plainly drunken man.
"As a result of that one blow you have taken away a life. His two sons have lost a father, his parents a son and colleagues have lost a friend.
"People must learn that a strong blow to the head can have terrible consequences and that death or serious injury can follow."
On the night, 38-year-old Mr Molloy, who lived in Princess Court, Old Trafford, Manchester, had been drinking with a friend before going into the city centre.
Mr Molloy, a scaffolder, ended up trying to get into Mantos on Canal Street but was refused entry because he was drunk.
Richard Marks QC, prosecuting, said the doorman did not feel threatened and thought he had control of the situation.
But then Sheffield, who had worked at the bar as a doorman until he was sacked just before the incident, was sitting at a nearby table outside and suddenly got up and hit Mr Molloy on the head.
A post-mortem revealed death was caused by the rotation of his head which led to bleeding at the base of his brain.
Ben Nolan QC, defending, said Sheffield, of Cromwell Road, Pendleton, Manchester, accepted punching the victim once, but did not anticipate the consequences of his actions.
Sheffield, a goal-kicking hooker, was in action with Underbank last weekend when his side was beaten 42-20 at Milford Marlins in a Powergen Challenge Cup tie.