A Mill Hill teenager received a rapturous reception as he carried the Olympic torch through the streets of North Finchley today.

Horse-riding champion Michael Murphy, 15, waved to hundreds of people who were shouting his name as he completed his section of the relay in High Road.

Michael suffers from Dejerine-Sottas disease, which causes severe muscle weakness and loss of sensation in his limbs. He was selected to carry the torch because of his commitment to dressage and for being an inspiration to young people.

He said: “It was really good. It was an amazing experience. I feel proud to be part of such a fantastic event.

“Lots of people were shouting my name – it was really exciting. I wasn’t expecting so many people to be there.”

Michael underwent spinal surgery at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, in Brockley Hill, Stanmore to correct a curvature in his spine.

He is determined to compete in the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and trains six times a week at Penniwells Riding for the Disabled in Edgwarebury Lane, Elstree.

He chose his trainer of ten years, Sarah Healing, to push him in his wheelchair while he carried the flame.

She said: “The noise just hit us – it was so loud. The atmosphere was great with everyone cheering.

“I felt very honoured and humbled he chose me. I’ll remember it forever.”

Among the crowds were Michael’s old school, St Paul’s Primary in Mill Hill, and his friends at Mill Hill County High School and Penniwells.

His mum, Sue Murphy, said: “The amount of friends and support he had there was incredible.

“It was just an amazing experience and I felt so proud of him for everything he has achieved.”