Mark Hughes has been named Newcastle's Citizen of the Year at a ceremony at City Hall.
The former Knights star has been recognised for his tireless work raising millions of dollars for brain cancer research through the Mark Hughes Foundation.
Hughes himself was diagnosed with the disease in 2013.
Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes says the accolade is well deserved.
"Mark has taken the personal challenge of his brain cancer diagnosis and turned it into a way to help others battle this devastating disease."
"He has successfully used his profile as a former Rugby League star to shine a spotlight on brain cancer, its effects on people and their families, and the research efforts behind the fight to find a cure."
NOVA for Women and Children was named Community Group of the Year and University of Newcastle student Irini Kassis was named Young Citizen of the Year.