IT is a soldier’s worst nightmare to trip a hidden bomb in the battle zones of Afghanistan.

Rifleman Adam Lawrenson did exactly that when he triggered the pressure plate of an improvised explosive device in the deadly fields of Sangin, Helmand Province.

Incredibly he survived unscathed – with the blast of the device knocking him off his feet and burning holes and tears in his boots.

A dazed Adam had to scramble away from the scene as the troops came under fire from a Taliban ambush.

Helmet camera footage from a fellow soldier captured the drama and the stunned look on the face of the young trooper.

The episode earned the St Helens soldier the nickname of “The Luckiest Man in Nato” among comrades.

Now preparing to enjoy his Christmas the father-of-one is thanking his “lucky boots” he is safe at home.

IEDs have maimed or killed hundreds of British soldiers. But Adam was fortunate as heavy rainfall had soaked the explosives, causing them to only partially detonate.

He told the Star: “We were on a patrol and realised we were surrounded by IEDs. I don’t remember too much 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.”

The lucky boots take pride of place in his mother’s home and Adam plans on framing his lucky charm.

When American soldiers serving in Afghanistan learned of his story they offered cash to buy them.

But Adam, of 3 Rifles Regiment, was not going to part with his prized possessions.

He added: “It is a big thing over there about swapping badges and things with troops from other countries. The Americans heard my story and wanted the boots as a souvenir. But there was no way I was going to give them away.”

The ex-Sutton High pupil is son of Ian and Maureen and father of 18-month-old -year-old Blake He is currently based in Edinburgh after completing his six month tour of Afghanistan but will spend Christmas in St Helens.

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 on a ditch in Afghanistan. This Christmas I’ll be at home.”