4:34pm Thursday 6th September 2012
By Matthew Taylor
ON the seven year anniversary of his disappearance, the parents of Sandbach man, Steven Cook, have renewed appeals to help find their son.
The 20-year-old went missing during the first day of a holiday with friends in Malia, Crete, on September 1 2005.
The former Sandbach School pupil, who was studying business and marketing at Liverpool University, was part of a group that was taken on a bar crawl around Malia by holiday reps.
Steven became separated from his friend, and is known to have walked in the wrong direction from his hotel, toward the town of Sissi.
This week Steven’s mother and father, Norman and Pat Cook, recounted the details of their son’s disappearance and thanked people for their ongoing support.
Norman explained: “Steven’s flight out to Crete had been delayed, and he and his friend were tired with travel. They decided they were going to go back to the hotel, but were encouraged to have one last drink by a promoter outside Mike’s Bar on Beach Street.
“The bar was absolutely packed and they got separated. Steven came out of the bar and asked the promoter for directions back to his hotel, Frixos, but she didn’t know.
“Steven hadn’t seen Malia during the day because of the flight delay. He didn’t know the terrain. The moment he came out of the bar, the hotel was actually across the road and up a dimly lit street. He was very nearly there.”
Steven was an avid supporter of Liverpool FC; regularly attending matches and travelling to Istanbul to watch the club’s historic European Cup win.
Liverpool’s then manager, Rafa Benitez, signed items for a charity auction to raise money for the search for Steven.
Norman and Pat Cook maintain a network of friends on Crete who help distribute information and missing posters, including one produced by Cheshire Police that shows how Steven would have looked today, aged 27.
The family continue to offer a 7,000 Euro reward for information leading to his whereabouts.
Norman said: “We’ve been very lucky to have a lot of support from a lot of people, particularly in Sandbach.
“All we can do is keep Steven’s profile out there and keep people aware that he’s still missing.
“When I look back at when it happened, I was in a bit of a daze. What kept us going were the people where we live. They were bringing us food parcels and organising collections.”
Norman and Pat have declined to take up a legal right to declare Steven deceased.
Norman said: “There’s never been anything found that would suggest he’s dead. We remain positive as a family and we keep on doing what we can.
“He was a very amiable young man; very true to his friends. He had just finished his second year at university and was looking forward to his holiday, and going back to study.”
Norman asked people visiting Crete to bear Steven in mind, and visit www.findstevencook.co.uk before they travel.
The website includes a minute-by minute account of Steven’s known whereabouts before his disappearance, as well as pictures, maps and contact details for anyone with information.
“If anyone is going, then if they would just have a little look at that website and keep their eyes and ears open for him, or anything they might hear.
“Any piece of information that they might feel is insignificant might very important to the police, and to us.”
© Copyright 2001-2013 Newsquest Media Group