Former Manchester United footballer Ronnie Wallwork has been warned he could face a prison term after he admitted an assault charge.
Wallwork, 43, from Failsworth, Manchester, pleaded guilty on Thursday to inflicting grievous bodily harm on Alan Mulholland on 22 December 2019.
Co-defendant David Gardner, 43, from Newton Heath, Manchester, admitted the same charge.
Alex Langhorn, representing both men, said there would be a suggestion that a comment was made by the complainant that may have provoked or caused the incident, which is reported to have taken place in a pub.
No further details of the assault were disclosed in the brief hearing at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court.
Addressing both defendants in the dock, Judge Tina Landale said: “Your guilty pleas will be taken into account in your favour but it is important that I have as much information as possible before I sentence you both so I am ordering a pre-sentence report.
“All sentencing options are open including custodial. I have not ruled anything in or out.”
Both men were bailed as sentencing was fixed for March 23.
Wallwork was jailed in December 2011 for 15 months after he was caught selling on parts from stolen high-performance cars.
Police stumbled upon the illegal vehicle-breaking operation in Newton Heath while investigating a string of unconnected armed robberies across Lancashire.
Preston Crown Court heard his “promising career” as a professional footballer was “tragically cut short” when he was the victim of a serious assault in a bar stabbing.
The midfielder, who represented England at under-20 level, joined United as a trainee in 1993 but struggled to command a first-team place and was loaned to a number of clubs before he joined West Bromwich Albion in 2002.
Loan periods at Bradford City, Barnsley and Huddersfield followed before he moved to Sheffield Wednesday in 2008 where he made just seven appearances.