A NEWPORT schoolboy who according to his teachers embraces and demonstrates the Olympic values of respect, excellence and friendship, will play a key role in the London 2012 torch relay on Friday.

Liam Fletcher, 12, a Year Seven pupil at Lliswerry High School, will carry the torch as it passes through Pontypool on its journey around the UK.

He is one of 212 pupils from almost 19,000 UK schools that are part of the Get Set Network, the educational section of the London 2012 Olympics, who will help carry the torch during the countdown to the games.

Lliswerry High was one of 212 Get Set Network schools asked to nominate a Year Seven pupil for the honour, and Liam more than fit the bill, said headteacher Alyson Mills.

Liam demonstrated his Olympic values in his befriending of a new pupil who was nervous and low in confidence, by taking him under his wing and ensuring he settled in.

He also earned praise for the standard of his schoolwork and his role as a member of the school's Year Seven football team.

"Carrying the Olympic torch is a huge honour and I'm really excited about taking part in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said Liam, of Barthropp Street, Newport.

Proud mum Jayne, dad Dean and brothers Shaun and Luke, will be among those cheering Liam along on Friday afternoon.

"I don't think he realises quite what a big deal it is. I heard about it from a teacher and when I asked him, he told me he'd forgotten about it!" said Mrs Fletcher.

Mrs Mills said it was an honour for Lliswerry High to be asked to nominate a pupil.

"We wish him all the best and we are very proud of him," she said.