Brother of missing Crete Briton 'sure he's alive' after 10 years


The brother of a British holidaymaker who vanished in Crete 10 years ago has said the family "miss him like you wouldn't believe" and are "sure he's alive".

Steven Cook, then 20, disappeared on a night out in Malia with friends in 2005 - the first holiday he had taken without his family.

Despite appeals on UK and Greek TV Steven has never been found, and now the family have launched a fresh plea for information to mark the tenth anniversary of his disappearance on Tuesday.

Brother Chris, 40, from Cheshire, told of "the bemusement and hopelessness" that has haunted his family since Steven went missing.

"You can see the stress it's placed on my mum and dad," said Chris. "They just aged overnight. Mum lost so much weight because she had no appetite. Of course they were absolutely knocked sideways and devastated.

"It is ridiculous the way it manifests itself. Even now, if I get a phone call at work and there's a pause on the phone, I'll get a flash back...If we are expecting someone to be home at a certain time or if anything goes off-plan...

"We don't really celebrate birthdays or Christmases as nothing is really the same."

Several sightings of a man of Steven's description by holidaymakers on Crete and nearby island Rhodes have convinced mother Pat, 71, father Norman, 71, sister Lisa, 42, brothers Chris, 40, and Tony, 38 that he is still alive - though perhaps with a head injury or trouble communicating.

Chris said: "It is a real double-edged sword. It's great that people are still looking but we can't do anything physical about it and we are just playing a waiting game.

"It's all been a complete mystery but we have always believed we will find him. We are sure he's alive."

He added that words his brother spoke to him during the 2005 Champions League final in Istanbul, in which Liverpool rallied from three-nil down to beat favourites AC Milan on penalties, have since comforted the family.

"It was the worst football match you could have imagined and then with a flick of a switch it became an amazing turn around," Chris said.

"I was having a bit of a moan to Steve, and he said to me 'We can do it, we've just got to believe, believe, believe'."

"That's the saying we say now when we get down. I believe there are a lot of parallels."

As part of the renewed appeal Cheshire police have issued an image of how Steven might look now - aged 30.

Steven's family, who are offering a 7,000 euro (£5,100) reward for information leading to his whereabouts, said: "We hope and pray that people going to any of the Greek islands keep an eye out for him.

"Please help us to reunite our family so that we can all laugh and smile together again."