Danny Brough was "gobsmacked" when he was named as the winner of the prestigious Man of Steel award.
The Huddersfield Giants captain lifted the top prize at a glittering awards ceremony in Manchester after being adjudged to have made the biggest impact on Super League in 2013.
Brough, who guided the Giants to their first top-table finish for 81 years and to within 80 minutes of a maiden Grand Final, got the big prize ahead of Leeds Rhinos' former England captain Jamie Peacock and Wigan Warriors skipper Sean O'Loughlin.
It enabled Brough to complete a hat-trick after a string of consistent impressive displays earned him the Albert Goldthorpe Medal for the second time while last week he was named as the Rugby League Writers' Association player of the year.
"I was pretty gobsmacked," Brough said. "There are many great players in the game and, for me to receive this many awards, it's the best year I've had in my career by far.
"It's probably the best I've played so that's probably the reason I've got the rewards I've got."
In addition to inspiring Huddersfield to their best-ever Super League season, Brough broke Ben Gronow's club record of 147 goals which had stood for 93 years while he also smashed Pat Devery's record for points in a season set in 1953.
Brough, who formerly played with York, Castleford Tigers, Hull FC and Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, admitted his appointment as captain by coach Paul Anderson proved to be the catalyst for his record-breaking season.
"It's meant I've had to lead from the front in every game, not take a step back and, when things haven't been going so good, I've had to try to step up," he said.
"All the lads have respected me and chipped in when they've had to. I just turn up and play. I'm not one that thinks about it too much.
"I play off the cuff but, since I've had the captaincy, I've had to try to stand up and be pretty basic - not have one good game in four.
"I've had to try to have four good games out of four and I think that's stood me in good stead."
Huddersfield completed a notable double when Paul Anderson was named as coach of the year in his first full season in the job, an award applauded by his captain.
"I was absolutely overjoyed for Baloo," said Brough. "He's put a lot of hard work in this year and he's been straight down the line."