A SEVEN-YEAR-OLD from Church has been selected to stand on stage with athletes at the opening of the Paralympic Games.

Jack Eckersall, a former pupil at Altham St James’ Primary School, will be in London for the opening ceremony on August 29 as the Olympic torch is welcomed to the Olympic Park.

His mum Michelle, 40, was asked soon after giving birth if she would be interested in putting her son forward for the special ceremony because of his significant birthday — December 20, or 20/12.

Every child born on December 20, 2004, also the exact date the campaign for London 2012 started, was offered the chance to take part in the momentous occasion.

All 699 of them will be on stage with the 4,000 athletes from 162 nations and David Beckham, as the eyes of the world look on.

Jack, who lives in Warwick Street with his mum, dad Paul and sister Morgan, 9, has special educational needs, but has not let it stop him taking part in the celebrations.

He was also asked to help welcome the Olympic torch to Bolton, where he stood on stage and met the boxer Amir Khan and the town mayor.

Support worker Michelle said the whole family was very excited about heading down to the capital with Jack, who was also looking forward to visiting all the London landmarks.

She said: “I am so proud. Jack likes sport and making people laugh and he is very cheeky with it.

“It is such an opportunity, but he is so chilled about it, he is just taking it all in his stride.

“It will be lovely to see him up on stage and I am sure I will get emotional.”