PROUD Widnes athlete Mark Allen carried the Paralympic torch on the day of the opening ceremony.

The 40-year-old, who has cystic fibrosis and received a double lung transplant in 2005, was nominated by his mum, Maureen.

He joined a team of five to carry the iconic flame from Lord’s cricket ground.

Mark, of Deirdre Avenue, a Halton Council press officer, said today: “It really was an honour. I enjoyed every moment of it.

“When you hand it over, it is such an anticlimax as it is something you have been looking forward to for so long.

“For a few moments, the eyes of the world, TV and online are on you.”

Mark, a European and British Transplant Games table tennis champion, enjoyed meeting other torchbearers.

He said: “Everyone had a story, which is a reflection of the paralympics itself.

“I was talking to the UK’s only all-women blind cricket team.”

He plays at Halton Table Tennis Club and is coached by Karen Tonge MBE.