The 33-year-old midfielder has been one of the standout performers for Rovers during an otherwise forgettable relegation campaign.
He is the club’s leading scorer with nine goals despite playing several games at left back.
Rowe, who fought off competition from on-loan Arsenal midfielder Matt Smith for the award, has shouldered plenty of responsibility as one of the very few fit and available senior players in a young Rovers squad who have endured a steep learning curve in League One this season.
Despite that burden and the difficult circumstances, the stand-in captain has been a model of consistency and has led by example with both his performances on the pitch and professionalism off it.
Rowe missed Monday night’s ceremony at Owlerton Stadium after undergoing a hernia operation and his award was collected by Rovers boss Gary McSheffrey.
Elsewhere, former Rovers striker Billy Sharp was named as Sheffield United’s player of the year after bagging 15 goals for the promotion-chasing Blades.
Former Sheffield Wednesday boss Ron Atkinson, 83, collected a lifetime achievement award.