Sunderland’s Bonny Baby 2017 revealed

Lyle Rocco Thornton, with parents Melissa Wailes and Jonathan Thornton.
Lyle Rocco Thornton, with parents Melissa Wailes and Jonathan Thornton.

Wearside tot Lyle Rocco Thornton has clinched the coveted title of Bonny Baby 2017.

The Washington youngster, who has just celebrated his first birthday, won the Echo’s annual competition by a large margin.

Bonny Baby Winner 2017 Lyle Rocco Thornton, with parents Melissa Wailes and Jonathan Thornton.

Bonny Baby Winner 2017 Lyle Rocco Thornton, with parents Melissa Wailes and Jonathan Thornton.

Lyle’s proud parents, Melissa Wailes and Jonathan Thornton, are understandably thrilled with the final result.

Melissa, 27, who lives in Harraton’s Hazelwood Gardens, said she was excited by the news her only child had won against hundreds of other entrants.

She said: “I am so excited and over the moon about it. It is a lovely feeling.

“I was watching the votes online and I couldn’t believe more than 7,000 people had voted.

I couldn’t believe more than 7,000 people had voted

Melissa Wailes

“Everyone in the family will be delighted as well.”

Melissa only entered Lyle into the Bonny Baby 2017 event towards the end of the competition.

She said: “Wherever I go with him I am always being stopped by people saying how cute he is and commenting on his curly hair and big blue eyes.

“Then someone mentioned the competition and asked if I had entered him. I decided to get a coupon out of the paper and take part.

Bonny Baby winner Lyle Rocco Thornton, and mum Melissa Wailes.

Bonny Baby winner Lyle Rocco Thornton, and mum Melissa Wailes.

“When we went along to get his photograph taken the woman said he was the bonniest child she had seen all week, and we were among the last ones.”

Melissa said the family were all really pleased when Lyle was chosen as one of the three finalists.

She said: “My mam was over the moon, she said he was definitely the winner - before he was even chosen.”

After more than 500 entries, and more than 1,200 votes cast, there were three youngsters who made it through to the overall finals.

Lyle Rocco Thornton, the bonniest of them all.

Lyle Rocco Thornton, the bonniest of them all.

Lyle triumphed in the 0-18 month category, while Layla Cole stormed through to take the 19-36 month crown and Zara Aghamohammadi was voted number one in the 37 months-5 years age group.

Then after the final vote, Lyle, took a staggering 59% of the votes to be crowned the overall winner.

Each of the three youngsters will be given a canvas print to remind them of their win and Lyle not only takes the coveted title of Bonny Baby 2017, he also clinches a £100 voucher courtesy of The Bridges.

The Echo launched the competition back in August in conjunction with The Bridges and David Shilling from Focal Point Schools.

The response to the always popular competition was amazing.