Who'll follow in Alistair's footsteps and become Child of the Year?

Who'll follow in Alistair's footsteps and become Child of the Year?

Alistair Boswell's winning photograph from 2008, when he was 21 months old.

Alistair Boswell as he is now, aged seven.

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Education Reporter

HE MAY have a couple of teeth missing now, but that hasn’t taken away Alistair Boswell’s cheeky smile.

It was that which melted the judges' hearts in 2008 when he scooped the title of Child of the Year.

As a 21-month old, Alistair beat scores of other hopefuls to clinch the crown.

Now, six years on, the blond hair and adorable smile is still very much in evidence.

Seven-year-old Alistair, from Netley Abbey, is preparing for challenges away from the camera as he is about to make the jump up to junior school.

Proud mum Sandie Boswell said her son has grown into a lovely boy.

Mrs Boswell, 33, said: “We have still got the picture up from when he won and I remember getting the phone call to say he had won it. I remember feeling very proud at the time.

“He is missing his front teeth at the moment so he is growing up fast now, but he still takes a lovely picture, usually when he doesn’t know he is being photographed.”

This year’s search for the Daily Echo Child of the Year begins next month. The 2014 crown will be particular cause for celebration as it marks the 20th anniversary of the the Marlands sponsorship.

The shopping centre is once again supporting the competition and will be where hopeful families will be invited to go for specially arranged sittings with the Child of the Year photographer.

It will then be down to the public to whittle down the hundreds of entrants to a shortlist, which will then be handed to a panel of judges to decide on the overall winner, and those who have come top in their age categories.

Along with a framed print of the winning photograph and a glass trophy, the winner will also get to spend prize vouchers in the Marlands shopping centre as part of the prize bundle.

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