Former England striker Kevin Phillips was handed the Sir Tom Finney Award at Sunday's Football League Awards.
Phillips scored more than 270 goals during a 23-year career playing for teams including Watford, Sunderland, Southampton, West Brom and Birmingham.
The award is recognition for the 41-year-old's achievements in Football League competitions.
"I'm extremely proud and truly privileged to accept this award," said Phillips, now a coach at Leicester.
|Career of Kevin Phillips|
|Clubs: Baldock Town (1991-1994), Watford (1994-1997), Sunderland (1997-2003), Southampton (2003-2005), Aston Villa (2005-2006), West Brom (2006-2008), Birmingham (2008-2011), Blackpool (2011-2013), Crystal Palace (2013-2014), Leicester (2014).|
|Honours: Division One winner 1998-99, Golden Boot 1999-00, Championship winner 2007-08, Championship runner-up 2008-09, League Cup winner 2010-11, Championship play-offs 2012-13, Championship winner 2013-14.|
Phillips retired at the end of last season having helped Leicester return to the Premier League - the fifth time he has won promotion from the Championship.
He played for England eight times, while his 30 top-flight goals for Sunderland in 1999-2000 mean he is the only Englishman to have won the European Golden Boot.
"I'd like to thank the Football League, which has given me so many fantastic memories during my 20 years as a professional footballer," he said.
"It's all I ever wanted to be. I devoted my life to it and the game has given me so much in return."
Football League chief executive Shaun Harvey said: "This award is made to a player that sets the standard for others to aspire to and Kevin Phillips is a worthy winner.
"It is no exaggeration to say that virtually every club in the Football League would have wanted Kevin in their squad at any point in his professional career."
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe won the Football League Manager of the Decade, with the awards celebrating their 10th anniversary, while MK Dons' Tottenham-bound midfielder Dele Alli was named Football League Young Player of the Year.
Major Frank Buckley, who played once for England before war broke out in 1914, was recognised with the Contribution to League Football award for the innovative management principles he developed n the 1920s, when he managed Blackpool and Wolves.
There were Player of the Year prizes for each division, with Middlesbrough's Chelsea-loanee Patrick Bamford winning the Championship award.
Preston's Joe Garner, who also won the Goal of the Season prize, was given the League One award while the League Two prize went to Bury's Danny Mayor.