Marr: The Smiths almost re-formed in 2008
A founding member of The Smiths has revealed that re-forming "was a very real prospect" - if only for four days.
Guitarist and co-songwriter Johnny Marr has released an extract from his upcoming memoir Set The Boy Free in the Guardian and said he met with former band mate Morrissey in 2008.
The pair discussed the possibility, which Marr said would "make a hell of a lot of people very happy".
But "the distrust remained" between the two and the idea never came to pass.
Marr was back in touch with Morrissey in a "rare period of communication" when he was remastering The Smiths' back catalogue and they arranged to meet in a pub in south Manchester.
"I was happy to see him," he wrote. "It was 10 years or more since we'd last met. We caught up with personal news and family and reminisced a bit."
But then the conversation turned to "deeper things" and, eventually, what Marr called "that subject".
He wrote: "There had been rumours for years that the Smiths were about to re-form, and they were always untrue. I had never pursued any offer.
"Suddenly we were talking about the possibility of the band re-forming, and in that moment it seemed that with the right intention it could actually be done and might even be great."
After parting company with a hug, Marr returned to his band at the time, The Cribs, and talked to them about him possibly playing some shows with The Smiths, which he hoped "might even be better than before".
But by the time he returned from Mexico with the Cribs, Marr said, the communication had ended.
"Things went back to how they were and how I expect they always will be," he said. "An air of disaffection and distrust remained between us. It was a shame."