Northampton and England winger Chris Ashton last night paid tribute to his late father after being named Guinness Premiership player of the season.
Ashton's father, Kevin, lost his battle against cancer in the closing weeks of the Premiership season and his funeral was held on Monday.
But the 23-year-old was determined to honour his memory by collecting the prestigious award in London last night.
Ashton, who also picked up the award for the Premiership's leading try-scorer, said: "My Dad passed away about two weeks ago.
"It was his funeral yesterday and he helped me get to where I am in rugby and I would just like to say thank you.
"It has been a big year for me. It took me a while to get the hang of this game, coming over from rugby league, and I think I am finally getting the hang of it."
Ashton scored 16 tries in 20 matches for Saints this season, including hat-tricks against Gloucester and Newcastle, and won his first England cap as a result.
His haul of tries is the highest total in a single season for over a decade and is second only to Dominic Chapman, who scored 17 for Richmond in the 1997/98 season.
Ashton's Northampton team-mate Soane Tonga'uiha finished in second place.
The powerful Tongan prop participated in all 23 of Saints' Premiership matches, scoring three tries and crossing for another in the LV= Cup final at Sixways.
Saracens captain Ernst Joubert finished in third place while Saracens hooker Schalk Brits and Northampton back row Phil Dowson were also nominated.
Leicester scrum-half Ben Youngs was named as the Land Rover Discovery of the Season, beating Saracens' Andy Saull into second place.
Andy Key of Leeds pipped Northampton's Jim Mallinder to the QBE director of rugby of the season award.