Paul Oakden, 21, of Kingswood Close was sentenced for grievous bodily harm at Doncaster Crown Court on Tuesday.
He left 35-year-old Iain Eldridge fighting for his life at the start of this year.
On Saturday 31st December Mr Eldridge and his girlfriend were enjoying an evening out in Bawtry.
Shortly after midnight the couple were on Station Road, when Oakden approached. In an unprovoked attack, Oakden punched Mr Eldridge in the face, causing him to fall and hit his head on the pavement.
He was taken to the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield with a severe head injury, where his condition was declared critical and he was left fighting for his life.
In a statement released after the sentencing, Mr Eldridge’s family said: “Iain is a hardworking and honest family man who was out enjoying News Years Eve as hundreds of other people were doing, when he was assaulted in a completely unprovoked attack by Oakden.”
“There is no other reason as to why he attacked Iain other than he is just a thug who was out to cause trouble. He won’t admit this and continues to lie about the attack, but he knows in his own mind what he’s done and that he has ruined our lives.”
Det Ch Insp Steve Whittaker, the officer in charge of the case, added: “Oakden has shown no remorse for his actions and from his violent, drunken behaviour.”
“He has created an overwhelming amount of distress and heartache for Mr Eldridge and his family, in particular his two young children who could have very easily been left without a father because of his senseless crime.”