THE father of a Doncaster teenager who has been missing for two years said today he hoped new age-progressed pictures will help him find out what has happened to his son.
Andrew Gosden, of Littlemoor Lane, Balby, a pupil at McAuley School, Cantley, was aged just 14 when he left his family home in Doncaster on September 14, 2007.
He headed for London with just a couple of hundred pounds in his pocket and the only confirmed sighting since then is CCTV images showing him leaving Kings Cross station on the day he vanished.
Now posters with pictures showing Andrew as a 16-year-old have been created as the second anniversary of his disappearance approaches.
Kevin Gosden, 43, said the new images were "reassuring" and hoped they might encourage people to remember something that could help with the search for Andrew.
"I can see the family in it. One of the things I guess that all of us have feared or worried about is you end up thinking 'It's two years, how's he changed? If I bumped into him in the street, would I know who he was?'.
"It's reassuring to look at that and think 'Yes, I'd know you anywhere'," Mr Gosden said.
"The picture doesn't tell us things like what he's done with his hair or how tall he would be now. We don't know.
"But it gets him out there, in the hope that somebody, somewhere might put two and two together and be able to tell us something. And, if he's alive and well, Andrew himself might see it and respond."
Mr Gosden, his wife Glenys, 45, and their daughter Charlotte, 18, have done everything possible to find Andrew - a super-bright teenager who was heading for a string of top grades at GCSE - and publicise his completely out-of-character disappearance.
Andrew's face has appeared everywhere the family can think of - from national newspapers and television bulletins to bin lorries and milk cartons - emails have been sent out to organisations across the country and Mr Gosden has travelled extensively around London in the hope of finding someone who knows something about his son.
But the father-of-two said he does not know what to do next.
"We still know nothing, in effect, we still have no clue what happened to him after that morning two years ago, we don't know why he went, we don't know what he was thinking about, nothing. No clues left, no leads to go on," he said.
"I don't know what else we can do, I'm just out of ideas."
Mr Gosden said it is often difficult to cope and stay positive in the face of such a seemingly hopeless situation.
"Andrew was lovely, he was not a selfish, uncaring, obnoxious teenager at all.
He was a really lovely, polite kid and the fact that he’s made no contact kind of makes me think he’s dead more than anything because I can’t believe quite that he would be so uncaring as to never make any contact,” he said.
“It still feels like you just stagger forward through life and it still seems quite surreal and wrong in our house without Andrew.
“The phrase you hear regularly from various documentaries and things from other parents is ’living nightmare’ and that’s what it feels like.
“It’s the most horrible, horrible thing wondering where your kid is, are they alive, dead, lonely, scared, hungry, cold, isolated, abused? It’s just horrible and completely unending.”
Last year, the family marked the first anniversary of Andrew’s disappearance with a moving church service and a huge leaflet drop in London. This year, Mr Gosden will spend the day with friends, while his wife and daughter will be away on a much-needed holiday before Charlotte, who gained five A grades in her A-levels, leaves for Oxford University next month.
But Andrew will be at the forefront of all their minds.
Asked what message he would like to pass on to his son, Mr Gosden said: “It’s always been the same. We love you, we care about you, as a minimum we just want to know that you’re okay and happy.
“If you’ve got problems, we’d like to be able to have the opportunity to help with it.
“There’s no problem making contact or coming back, the worst thing that’s waiting for you is a lot of hugs because I’ve got millions saved up. Just please, please, please let us know you’re okay.”
n Anyone with information on Andrew’s whereabouts is asked to contact South Yorkshire Police on 0114 220 2020 or the Missing People helpline on 0500 700700.