Philip Clayton took the attacker to the ground after seeing the man pull a claw hammer from his waistband and swing it at another person.
He was with his wife Lilian walking towards Morrisons in Breightmet, Bolton, at about 2pm on Wednesday when they saw two men fighting outside the doors.
Children were crying and other shoppers were shouting.
When one man grabbed the hammer and began to swing it at the other person, Mr Clayton jumped in to stop the fight.
After he pulled the man to the ground, Mr Clayton and another member of the public held him down for more than 10 minutes until police arrived.
Mrs Clayton said she was “very proud” of her husband’s actions.
She said: “I’m always proud of him, he didn’t even think — he just helped everyone around him.”
Mr Clayton works for Bury-based security company CNN and has been the doorman for The Monkey House in Silver Street for the past five years.
He has also begun working at the newly opened The Elephant’s Trunk and HOPS World Beers & Gin Bar, also in Silver Street, Bury.
Charles Daubney, the owner of the three venues, said: “Phil has worked with us for a number of years. He is brilliant.
“We are really proud of him for what he has done in this scenario. But it is not out of character — he is this kind of person. Phil would put his neck on the line to help people. This is something he would have done for anyone.”
However, Mr Clayton said he had hardly thought about what he was doing.
He said: “To be honest my instincts kicked in and I just did what I do. It just happened.
“When I first saw the fight I was wondering what was going on but they were both giving as good as they were getting.
Mrs Clayton said the children in the area were crying and people were shouting as the fight was going on.
Police said they were called to the scene after reports of a disturbance in the car park.
Officers arrested a 24-year-old man on suspicion of affray. He remains in custody for questioning.
No one was injured in the incident but inquiries into exactly what happened are still ongoing.
Source – Bury Times