Mohammed Rahman stabbed Alan Stokoe with a knife during an altercation in Chester-le-Street, in the early hours of July 21 last year.
Despite the efforts of the emergency services, Mr Stokoe was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.
Rahman was arrested and charged with murder and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
The 44-year-old, of Eamont Gardens, Hartlepool, denied the charges, claiming he acted in self-defence.
After a trial, a jury sitting at Newcastle Crown Court today (Monday, December 7) found Rahman guilty of both murder and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice after two hours of deliberation.
Rahman was remanded in custody and will be sentenced next Monday (December 14).
Laura McGee, 30, of Melville Street, Chester-le-Street, will also be sentenced at the same time after she was also found guilty of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
Alan was 28 when he died. Today in a statement, his family said: “The murder of our beautiful Alan has ripped our family apart and has left a hole that can never be filled.
“His nan, Carol, and granddad, John, have said these are some of the darkest days of our family’s lives, the shock has been devastating. Trying to put the pieces together each day is impossible – we wake up each day and the pain is unbearable. The pain and devastation my daughter is going through is unbelievable.
“His aunts, uncles, cousins, brother and sister – and especially his mam, Joanne – will never get over the loss of someone so loved and our lives will never be the same without him.”
They added: “Alan was 16 when he joined the Army. While serving his son Jacob was born, who he loved more than life itself.
“He was brother to Connor and Katey, and uncle to Leo, who he adored.
“After leaving the Army, he moved back to Chester-le-Street, with his mam. He was her ‘golden boy’ – they were best friends!
“He was always the centre of his mother’s world. She loves and misses him with all her heart.”
Detective Chief Superintendent Victoria Fuller, who led the investigation, said: “This has been a long and complex investigation, which I am pleased has culminated in the successful conviction of Mohammed Rahman.
“Although nothing can bring Alan back, and the devastating impact of his death will stay with his mother, father and wider family forever, I hope today’s verdict will offer them at least a little comfort that justice has been served.
“This was a tragic loss of life. As this case has shown, carrying a knife or any weapon can have truly devastating consequences.
“Our message is clear and simple: Do not carry knives.”