Former Leeds United star Tony Dorigo was buried by his jealous girlfriend ex.
NHS Chief Gareth Senior, 48, saw Dorigo in a shop with Claire Joss and screamed, "I knew you were behind her."
Dorigo, 52, said: "I heard a few screaming and I felt unnecessarily swinging.
"He swore and said everything, I did not catch it.
"Then he shook my head, grabbing my nose and the top of my lip, thinking I was a little blood.
"I managed to get back, otherwise my nose would be broken."
IT Manager Senior was convicted of an attack that caused real harm to a court in Leeds.
His lawyer, Stuart Field, said: "Leeds United is his passion and among his heroes was Tony Dorigo."
He added that Senior will now be the subject of an NHS investigation and may lose his job.
Senior 18-month relationship with NHS colleagues Miss Joss, 43, ended two months before the bust.
She said she was returning an item at Leeds, and she remembered, "Gareth was screaming at me, saying he was killing Tony."
She said she had gotten between Doriga and her former partner to try to stop the violence, and admitted she "covered" Senior twice as threats continued.
She added, "He said it was not over, and he should break his legs."
Denial of Senior attack said to the court: "My emotions were strong, but I'm not a violent person, and I've never been a violent person.
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"I am ashamed and I am ashamed to approach Mr. Dorig as I did, and if possible, I would like to apologize to Mr. Dorig and Claire."
But he told Deputy District Judge Paul Currer, "There is no evidence of headbutt."
Seniors were fined £ 500 and ordered Dorigo to pay £ 100 plus legal costs of £ 300.
Dorigo, who was born in Australia, now worked, played 171 times for Leeds from 1991 to 1997 and won 15 titles in England. His other clubs include Chelsea and Aston Villa. Later he played for the Italian side Torino, Derby and Stoke.