Prescott was one of the top full-backs in the British game
Former St Helens star Steve Prescott has become an MBE in the New Year Honours list in recognition of his services to rugby league and charity.
Prescott, 36, was given two months to live after being diagnosed with a rare form of stomach cancer in 2006.
But he has battled the disease and raised thousands of pounds for charity through the Steve Prescott Foundation.
"This is something I never imagined would happen - it was a tremendous surprise," said Prescott.
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank, not only the people close to me, but also everybody who has helped me along the way - no matter how big or small.
"Without their help and combined efforts I would not be able to achieve such a high accolade.
"The award is not just for me, but also for my family, friends and all the special people who have been involved with the Foundation, and although I am not doing the charity work for awards, this is one which I will accept with open arms.
"Being made an MBE underlines the achievements of the Foundation. This recognition really makes me want to make it even more successful and is a great start to the New Year."
Prescott's battle against pseudomyxoma peritonei, a rare form of the disease, has captured the hearts of the rugby league community.
"Steve is a truly inspiring individual," said Rugby Football League chairman Richard Lewis.
"He thoroughly deserves this accolade in recognition of his outstanding bravery and resolve.
"On behalf of the RFL I would like to congratulate Steve on receiving his MBE."
Prescott, a former England and Ireland international who played at the 2000 Rugby League World Cup, also played for Hull FC and Wakefield before a knee injury forced him to retire in 2004.
The father of two has embarked on a series of money-raising initiatives, including organising a naked calendar of rugby league stars and staging boxing matches between the likes of Lee Radford and Stuart Fielden, as well as arduous cycle rides and rowing challenges.
"The scale of the challenges that he has undertaken to raise money for the Christie Cancer Hospital and RFL Benevolent Fund charities has been breathtaking," added Lewis.
Prescott is still undergoing intense chemotherapy to combat his condition.