Missing Wales fan: Ben Thompson hunt switches to River Ely in Cardiff Bay

Ben Thompson
Image caption Keen rugby fan Ben Thompson was last seen after Wales v Ireland

The search for a rugby fan who disappeared after Wales' Six Nations game against Ireland in Cardiff is to switch to the mouth of the River Ely.

Ben Thompson, 34, from Haverfordwest, went missing on 2 February after he watched the match at the Millennium Stadium.

His family, friends and colleagues have been involved in the extensive searches for him.

Specialist sonar equipment will now be used in the river.

South Wales Police said the stretch of river between Leckwith Hill bridge and the mouth of the River Ely near Cardiff Bay Yacht Club will be the area searched on Thursday for Mr Thompson, who is a worker at South Hook LNG gas plant in Pembrokeshire.

A big rugby fan, he had travelled to Cardiff for the Six Nations match with a friend, staying near Cardiff airport, after winning tickets for a hospitality box in the Millennium Stadium.

He had a "wonderful day" and called his wife Jo just afterwards to say he was heading to their favourite pub in the city.

He was seen by friends in Mill Lane in the city centre at about 18:30 GMT and then the last known footage of him captured on CCTV showed him crossing Leckwith Road into Lawrenny Avenue at 19:17 GMT, near Cardiff City stadium.

A few minutes later he was again spotted on camera walking down a lane at the end of that road towards wasteland.

Police say there have been no further sightings of Mr Thompson since and there has been no activity on his mobile phone.

In the days after his disappearance his wife Jo made an emotional plea at a Cardiff news conference for the public's help to find her husband who she described as " kind and loving and an exceptional friend".

Image caption CCTV of Ben Thompson crossing Leckwith Road into Lawrenny Avenue

Mr Thompson's twin Marc said he thought he was trying to find his way back to his hotel near the airport and had got lost.

The WRU also issued an appeal for information and offered its support to Mr Thompson's family.

Volunteers have joined police in their extensive search of buildings and the area in the west of the city where he disappeared.

The River Ely and woodland has been searched before but in their latest effort police are concentrating on the river mouth in the bay.

Mr Thompson is 5ft 9in tall, with short brown hair and blue eyes. He was wearing a white shirt with blue thin stripes, jeans, and brown leather lace-up boots.

Anyone who has see him or who has any information which might help police should contact the command room at Cardiff Bay Police Station on 029 2033 8465.

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