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Fly-half Ford wins Leicester Mercury award

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Leicester Tigers fly-half George Ford has been named Young Sportsman of the Year at the Leicester Mercury Sports Awards.

The 18-year-old has enjoyed a memorable year, being named IRB World Junior Player of the Year after playing a leading role as England Under-20s reached the world championships final last summer and then gaining Aviva Premiership experience with Tigers at the start of the season.

The annual Leicester Mercury ceremony was organised by Champions (UK) and held for the first time at Tigers’ home ground at Welford Road on Thursday, attracting guests from across the county.

Snooker’s world No1 Mark Selby lifted the Sportsman of the Year award, while athlete Gemma Steel, from Charnwood AC, took the Sportswoman of the Year trophy.

Leicester Mercury acting editor Richard Bettsworth said: "Once again, we have so much to celebrate about the brilliant accomplishments of our sportsmen and women in Leicestershire during 2011. The judges had an incredibly difficult task in selecting winners from so many outstanding nominees.

"We are delighted this year that this prestigious competition is being supported by Champions (UK) Plc and also very grateful to all the other sponsors who have supported this event.

"Our congratulations to all our winners and all those who were nominated."