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Ford is fans' pick as player of the year

George Ford completed a notable double by being named Leicester Tigers Player of the Year by supporters.

Already chosen as Players’ Player of the Season, fly-half Ford topped the voting among supporters at the Awards Dinner at Welford Road on Tuesday evening.

Top points scorer in the Gallagher Premiership with one round remaining in a season which also featured a 50th England cap and as Test match captaincy, Ford accepted the trophy as Supporters’ Player of the Year and said: “It has been a tough year and challenged all of us, but I have massive belief we will get back to where we belong.

“There are some great names in the list of past winners of this award but in a team sport you can’t do anything without your team-mates.”

Guy Thompson (Best Newcomer) and Jake Kerr (Young Player) were also among the evening’s winners, while Jonny May’s score in the away win over Newcastle Falcons in April was voted Try of the Season by supporters at the Awards Night.

Mathew Tait, who announced his retirement earlier this season after eight years with the club, received the Outstanding Service award in recognition of a career which included 143 Tigers appearances and a Premiership title in 2013.

He said: “I’ve been fortunate to have 15 years playing professional rugby, I’ve had many great memories of the game and the friendships created from playing it, and now it is on to the next chapter.”

There was an emotional presentation of a special Tigers Family Award to Barbara Thomas, wife of the late Tudor Thomas, the club's former team secretary, president and life member who died last summer after more than half a century’s association with the club.

The evening also hosted presentations to the Leicester Tigers Wheelchair Rugby Team who won a second successive Super Series league title and just missed out on a double a the national championship. Nick Cummins was named Players’ Player of the Year, with Ian Bragg receiving the Team Appreciation Award.