AS a one-year-old he was dubbed the cutest child of the year.

Now, nine years later, Leighton Kerr is still sporting the charming grin that scooped him a top prize, but he’s also getting ready to go to secondary school.

The ten-year-old Netley Abbey Primary School pupil won The Daily Echo’s Child of the Year competition in 2004.

And he’s one of a number of faces from competitions in the past that we are featuring as we mark a special a n n ive r s a r y this year – 20 years of The Marlands shopping centre s p o n s o r i n g Child of the Year.

Next month will see the launch of this year’s contest and we will once again be looking to find the cutest candidates from across the area.

And one lucky youngster will eventually be picked as winner of the 2014 competition – just like Leighton was almost a decade ago.

He said: “It’s awesome being in the paper because I can show my friends and they think it’s pretty cool.

I’m a bit bigger now though and I like going on the PlayStation and playing with my friends and going on my Ripstick which is a sort of skateboard.”

Daily Echo:

The Marlands, an acclaimed shopping destination, gives each year’s competition winner a shopping voucher which as a one-year-old baby, Leighton used to buy toys from the Disney store.

His parents, Jason Kerr, 43 and Wai-Ling Kerr, 44 said: “He was our first child so we thought it would be a nice thing to do. Leighton is still very happy about it and has the cuttings of when he was in the paper on his bedroom wall, he is very proud of it.”