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Local News

Andrew Gosden parents’ heartbreaking Christmas ritual for son who left for school 14 years ago and never returned

today24/12/2021

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The dad of missing Andrew Gosden, who disappeared from his home 14 years ago, has revealed he and his wife still light a candle for their son every Christmas.

Andrew, who was just 14-years-old when he went missing, left his home in Doncaster on Friday, September 14, 2007, and has not been seen by his heartbroken family since.

The teenager, who would now be 28-years-old, left his home for school but was last seen at Kings Cross Station in London on the day of his disappearance. He never returned.

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He had withdrew £200 and bought a one-way ticket to the capital. He also took his wallet, keys and a Playstation Portable console.

He was regarded as a gifted student who was almost certainly destined for Cambridge University.

Despite many tips from the public, no further sightings have led to any information about his whereabouts.

For Andrew’s devastated family the pain of his disappearance has never gotten easier to bear.



Age progression photographs have been produced to try to anticipate what Andrew will look like now
Age progression photographs have been produced to try to anticipate what Andrew will look like now

Andrew’s dad, Kevin, 56, said: “Christmas Day, Boxing Day, his birthday, the day he disappeared…days like that we always light a big candle, as a way of reminding ourselves that there is still hope that we might find out what has happened to him.

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“Christmas can be a really tough time for an awful lot of families I think and I guess it’s no exception for us really, but you’re always carrying that wondering, not knowing thing.

‘We had Andrew 14 years, now we’ve lost him for 14 years’

“You might think it gets easier to handle but, actually, it really doesn’t. This year’s a poignant one because we had Andrew for 14 years and it’s now 14 years since he disappeared.”

Kevin, who still lives in the same house that Andrew left on that day in 2007, said that his son’s disappearance has been harder to deal with than the death of loved ones, as there has been no closure.



This CCTV image from London Kings Cross is the last sighting of Andrew
This CCTV image from London Kings Cross is the last sighting of Andrew

He said: “It’s quite different to losing a loved one in the sense that you can never resolve it, we’ve lost friends and family to perfectly natural causes over the time that Andrew’s been missing, but with that it’s so different because you move through grieving.

“Whereas, when you just don’t know, somewhere in your brain you don’t know whether you can grieve or not and that’s really tough.”

Where to get mental health help in 2021

Samaritans : Phone 116 123, 24 hours a day, or email jo@samaritans.org, in confidence

Platform 1 men’s community group : Support for issues including mental health problems and addiction recovery. Visit the website or call 01484 421143.

Andy’s Man Club : info@andysmanclub.co.uk

PAPYRUS : A voluntary organisation supporting suicidal teens and young adults. Phone 0800 068 4141

Mind : A charity offering support and advice for people with mental health problems.

Bullying UK : A website for both children and adults affected by bullying. Click here

Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) : For young men who are feeling unhappy. There’s a website and a helpline: 0800 58 58 58

MindOut: Provide support and advice on mental health for members of LGBTQ communities. Phone 01273 234839   

Kevin said he and his wife, Glenys, 57, and their daughter Charlotte, 30, have never given up hope that they will find Andrew – even if that hope has changed over the years.

“Perhaps the character of our hope has changed,” he said. “When we set out on this, obviously your hope is that you’re going to find him or he’s going to make contact pretty swiftly.



Andrew left his home aged 14 and has not been seen since
Andrew left his home aged 14 and has not been seen since

“I think, now, that hope almost stems to…if we had some remains or something that demonstrated that he was dead, even that would be some form of closure.”

Even with that thought in their mind, Kevin and Glenys have stayed in the same house all these years just in case Andrew ever decided to come home.

Kevin said: “We’ve never moved, my wife and I don’t live in the poshest area of Doncaster and for years I’d been aware that I ought to have changed the locks to anti-snap ones.

“I only did that about two years ago, because, until then, I couldn’t bring myself to because we knew that Andrew had left with his door key and that’s how long it took me to prioritise our own security.”

‘I just wish he could meet his nephew’

Though it has been 14 years of heartache for Kevin and his family, the family have smiled, laughed and celebrated the various milestones that have come along in that time.

For Kevin, one of the biggest joys has been the birth of his grandson Marco, who is now two-years-old.

Kevin and Glenys look after Marco every Friday and Kevin said this is the “biggest joy” of his week.

“For me, having Marco on Fridays, that has to be the biggest joy of my week really,” Kevin said. “He’s on the autistc spectrum, so he’s quite high maintenance. He is just lovely and so much fun.

“I’ve always got some art project or gardening or baking that he likes to join in with. He helped make all our Christmas cards this year, with stickers and paint everywhere.”



Andrew Gosden, who vanished from his home in Doncaster, in 2007
Andrew Gosden, who vanished from his home in Doncaster, in 2007

And, despite never having met his “Uncle Andy”, Marco still knows who he is.

Kevin said: “Even at two-years-old, he’s spotted the missing poster in the window and he’ll point at it most times when he comes in and out of the house and say ‘Uncle Andy, gone’, he knows which was Uncle Andy’s room.

“I just wish he [Andrew] could meet Marco, I just wish he could meet him because he’s a lot of fun.”

This Christmas, the family will be getting together and lighting their candle for Andrew – celebrating in his absence, but with him still firmly in their hearts.

Kevin has urged anyone who has or is thinking of running away from home, to contact Missing People for help and support. You can access their website here, or call 116 000 free of charge.

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Written by: Rother Radio News


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today24/12/2021