After 40 years, Cherie Blair's first kiss is public knowledge

Little did he know that later in the day details of the four- decades-old romantic rendezvous would become public knowledge.

For the first object of Mr Smerdon's boyhood desire grew up to become Cherie Blair, the outspoken wife of the Prime Minister, who yesterday revealed to the world the details of her magical moment with him, under a railway bridge in Liverpool.

Long before she fell for a long-haired, guitar-playing Tony Blair while they were training to be barristers, Mrs Blair had her first romantic encounter with a chubby-cheeked boy in knee-length shorts and slicked back hair.

She revealed details of the clinch at a stall set up by the Ordnance Survey, which produced a map of her childhood home in Ferndale Road, on her request. The stall was part of a series of stands at the Labour conference in Brighton.

Pointing to the spot the embrace took place at the local park, she spoke of the tryst that led to her first romantic experience. "Under the railway bridge was the first time I was ever kissed, at the age of seven ... by a boy called Stephen Smerdon," she said.

Mr Smerdon, 50, said he was "just glad that Cherie remembered me". He said he felt "nostalgic" when she described the occasion, that he will "never forget".

"We used to live in the same street," he said. "She was a lovely girl. We were too young to have a big romance, but I don't care what anybody says nowadays, she is a caring person and is very nice."

Mr Smerdon, who has been married to Claire for 13 years, lost touch with Mrs Blair when he left Liverpool to join the Navy. Today he runs the Bull Inn pub in Whitwell, Hertfordshire, and often regales customers with the tale of the kiss.

Now a distinguished, silver-haired resident of the quiet village near Luton, he was pictured at the age of seven looking cherubic in shorts, a tie and a smart V-neck jumper.

Mr Smerdon's father, Denis, was a teacher who taught Cherie at St Edmunds and St Thomas primary school in Merseyside.

Mrs Blair's parents had just split up when Denis Smerdon, who lived in the same street as Mrs Blair's mother, suggested that she move up a year at school.

Mrs Blair never forgot the influence the schoolteacher had on her life. Although he died in 2001, she invited his widow, Molly, to Downing Street, after Labour's general election victory of 1997. Last year, she posthumously nominated him for a project that recognised his achievements and called him an inspiration. She described him as having "a huge influence in my life" and said he had been a "good man and a wonderful musician who gave inspiration and belief to many people including myself".

News
people

Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way

Arts and Entertainment
Serge Pizzorno of Kasabian and Noel Fielding backstage at the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts
musicKasabian and Noel Fielding attack 'boring' musicians
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are starring together in civil rights drama Freeheld
film
Voices
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella
voicesVicky Chandler: Zoella shows us that feminism can come in all forms
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
people

Sport
nflAtlanta Falcons can't count and don't know what the UK looks like
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
High notes, flat performance: Jake Bugg
music

Review: Despite an uphill climb to see Jake Bugg in action, his performance is notably flat

News
The Putin automaton will go on sale next month in Germany
videoMusical Putin toy showing him annexing Crimea could sell for millions
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Telecoms Engineer - Telecoms Admin - £35,000 - 5 month FTC

£35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: 5 month Fixed Term Contract - Telecommunicati...

Norwegian Speaking Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 per annum + competitive OTE: SThree: Progressive in Manchester is seeki...

IT Systems Business Analyst - Watford - £28k + bonus + benefits

£24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...

Telecoms Engineer - Telecoms Administrator - London - £26,000

£26000 per annum + 25 days holiday & further benefits: Ashdown Group: Telecomm...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London