Bombardier Johnny Holt, from Breightmet, received a medal for his service in Helmand Province last year.
Bdr Holt, aged 25, was given the honour at the Sale Sharks match at Edgeley Park, Stockport, on Sunday.
Bdr Holt, who has been a soldier for more than nine years, has previously served in Bosnia, Iraq and Cyprus.
He was watched from the stands by his wife, Amanda, his son, Jack, his mum and dad and other family members.
The soldiers of 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, who are normally based in Germany, received a five-minute standing ovation from Sale Sharks fans.
Bdr Holt, a former Thornleigh Salesian College pupil, said:
“If I’d received my medal in Germany, my family would not have been able to get there, but to receive it with them watching on was very special “It has been great to do this and for people to show that they support what soldiers do.”