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.
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."