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SOLE SURVIVOR; Soldier steps on bomb and gets only holes in his boots.

Byline: PAUL BYRNE

RIFLEMAN Adam Lawrenson has been dubbed the luckiest soldier in the world - after stepping on a bomb and suffering only holes in the soles of his boots.

A comrade's helmet camera footage shows the shock on his face after being blown off his feet by the Taliban explosive but escaping with only scratches.

Adam was saved from certain death because heavy rain had soaked the bomb and it only partially detonated.

The dazed 24-year-old then had to scramble from the scene of the roadside blast as his patrol came under fire from an enemy ambush.

Adam is now back in Britain and his lucky boots take pride of place in his mother's home in St Helens, Merseyside. He said of his brush with one of the Taliban's deadly improvised explosive devices: "We were on a patrol and we realised we were surrounded by IEDs. I don't remember too much about what happened because I was left in battle shock.

"But it seems I stepped on the pressure plate but it only partially detonated because it had rained, which affected the explosives.

"Yes I was lucky. I have earned the nickname the Luckiest Man in Nato.

"I phoned my mum afterwards and told her what had happened - she could not believe it.

"I still think about how lucky I am to this day. Not many people have survived an IED."

When American soldiers serving in Afghanistan heard his story, they even offered to buy his burnt footwear from him as a souvenir.

Adam, 24, of 3 Rifles Regiment, explained: "It is a big thing over there about swapping badges and things with troops from other countries.

"The American soldiers heard my story and wanted the boots as a souvenir.

"But there was no way I was going to give them away."

The father of one is currently based in the safety of Edinburgh after completing his six-month tour of duty in Afghanistan.

He added: "We had a hard tour and were one of the most battle-scarred battalions, losing good men.

"Last year at midnight on New Year's Eve, I was in a ditch in Afghanistan. This year I'll be at home."

CAPTION(S):

YOU BOOT-IES The rifleman with his lucky footwear GREAT ESCAPE Adam is left dazed but unhurt by Taliban blast
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 27, 2010
Words:384
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