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England fly half Ford nominated for BBC award

14 November 2009

  • George Ford nominated for Sports Personality honour
  • Teenager is youngest ever to play in pro game
George Ford of England looks on during the under 18 match between England and Western Province

Photo: Getty Images

England Under 18 star George Ford has been shortlisted for the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year Award.

The fly half became the youngest player ever to take part in a professional club match when he appeared for Leicester Tigers at the age of 16 years and 237 days in an LV= Cup game at Leeds Carnegie this month.

He first appeared for England’s Under 18 side at the age of 15 and is due to join up with the national squad again next month before they face Australian Schools on December 13.

The BBC’s shortlist of 10 includes athletes of the calibre of World Championship winning diver Tom Daley, Junior US Open tennis champion Heather Watson, solo round the world yachtsman Mike Perham and Paralympics swimming champion Eleanor Simmons.

George is the son of England Defence Coach Mike Ford, who watched him make his Tigers debut, lining up against older brother Joe, on November 8.

"It was great to be able to watch George and Joe make their debuts for their clubs in the same game last weekend,” said Ford senior.

"I’m surprised and very proud to hear George has been nominated for the award and he’s the only player in a team sport on the list.

"It’s a great accolade for him. Sometimes you take for granted what he’s accomplished so quickly in the game but this underlines what he’s achieved so far.

"Of course he’s still got a long way to go but he’s started playing for England three years young and he’s still got two more years at Under 18 level.”

The top three will be selected by a panel of judges on November 23 and the winner announced live on the Sports Personality of the Year show on December 13.