Scunthorpe Rugby Club player Matthew Probert was photographed slumped against a wall with the claw of the tool embedded in his skull after a night out with pals. He was attacked at about 1 a.m.
Up to five bouncers were seen by onlookers trying to reassure him and keep the 21-year-old tough guy awake, as they checked his pulse.
Probert, a loose-head prop, (yes, that a real rugby position) was rushed to a specialist brain unit at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield.
Surgeons spent an hour removing the hammer from his forehead and he has since been described as being in a stable condition and "lucky to be alive."
Lincolnshire Police later confirmed a 21-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.
Probert's prognosis is good — he's a rugby player after all.