To add to the occasion for the teenager, elder brother Joe was in the No.10 shirt for the hosts, and mum and dad were in the crowd to watch.
“It is a very special moment, to be the youngest to play for a club like Leicester Tigers,” said Ford, who took just 12 minutes to kick his first points for the club and added two conversions later in a 28-17 defeat at Headingley.
“I had not actually thought much about being the youngest player before the game but now it is just sinking in and I am pretty proud of it,” he added after the final whistle.
Ford, an England Under-18 international, played against Joe just four weeks ago in a Premier Rugby A League win at Welford Road, but it was Joe who came out on top this time as Leeds triumphed in the opening fixture of the new-look LV= Cup.
Proud father Mike, the England defence coach, shared a few words with his sons afterwards.
George said: “It was weird spending so much time with my brother and then playing against him. It’s one each now after our win in the A League and now him winning this one.
“Dad said ‘hard luck’ to me after the game but he must have had mixed emotions with Joe getting man of the match.
“We didn’t talk about it much before the game but it is a special day for the whole family.
“Now I just want to keep playing in the Academy and A League and get more competitive games with Leicester.”