Missing Wales rugby fan: Ben Thompson's wife's appeal

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Media captionBen Thompson had been staying at a hotel near Cardiff Airport

The wife of missing rugby fan Ben Thompson has pleaded to anyone who saw him on the night he went missing to come forward.

Jo Thompson, struggling to contain her emotions, said: "Please help me find my husband."

Mr Thompson, 34, from Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, was last seen by friends in Cardiff at about 18:30 GMT after the Wales-Ireland rugby game on Saturday.

CCTV images of his last known movements were released earlier.

Footage shows him crossing Leckwith Road into Lawrenny Avenue, Leckwith, near the Cardiff City Stadium, at 19:17 GMT on Saturday.

Speaking at a press conference, Mrs Thompson said: "I would like to thank all of Ben's colleagues and friends for their help with our efforts in finding Ben.

"It just proved how loved he is. He's kind and loving and an exceptional friend."

Her voice broke as she said: "Please help me find my husband."

Mrs Thompson was joined at a news conference, hosted by police in Cardiff, by her husband's twin brother Marc, his mother Avril, and her brother Philip Coles.

Mr Thompson, described as a big rugby fan, had won tickets for a hospitality box at the match at the Millennium Stadium.

He had travelled up from Pembrokeshire on Friday night with a friend to stay at a hotel in Cardiff Airport.

He had a "wonderful day", according to Mr Coles, and called his wife just after the game to tell her he was heading to their favourite Cardiff pub.

Mr Thompson was last seen by his friends after the match at 18:30 GMT in Mill Lane but at some point left a queue for a bar, before being spotted on CCTV cameras at 19.17 GMT in Leckwith.

His phone was switched off at around 18:00 GMT and had not been switched back on.

Marc Thompson said he thought his brother lost his way.

"We think he was heading back to the hotel near Cardiff Airport, the Travelodge there and he tried walking there."

He added: "He's a great guy and fun loving and committed."

"Everybody's worried sick. We just need to find him," he said.

Mr Thompson called his brother a very fit man who took part in the Etape De Tour, which is a stage of the Tour de France which is ridden by non-professional riders, every year and was "always cycling and in the gym".

He said: "That's the hardest thing is just not knowing. Where is he?

"Jo's in bits. She's just devastated."

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Media captionThe CCTV footage shows Ben Thompson crossing Leckwith Road at 19:17 GMT on Saturday 2 February

Chief Inspector Eddie Ough, of South Wales Police, said police dogs and horses were also involved in the search along with a team of 50 officers.

He said: "We're going to maintain that number for the next few days."

A large group of colleagues from Mr Thompson's work at South Hook LNG in Milford Haven had come up to Cardiff by 08:00 GMT on Tuesday to help with the search.

About 30 of his family and friends travelled to the Welsh capital from Haverfordwest for the press conference on Tuesday at the Sandmartin pub at the Leckwith retail park, close to where he was last seen.

The CCTV footage from Saturday shows that Mr Thompson appears to have come from the direction of the Jubilee recreation ground, which is between Sloper Road and Leckwith Road.

Police search teams are continuing to focus their efforts in this area.

Ch Insp Ough said: "Ben's family and friends are getting increasingly worried and we are keeping them fully updated on our search.

Favourite pub

"We would like to thank members of the public who have responded to our appeals for information.

"We are now particularly keen to hear from anyone who has seen Ben since 7.17pm on Saturday."

Mr Coles said: "We're so grateful for all the people helping to search for Ben. They've all been incredible. They're all helping the officers with door-to-door inquiries"

And he appealed for anyone who had seen Ben on Saturday evening to contact police.

"Any strange goings-on that were out of the ordinary that anyone saw could be of help as the situation becomes very dire. Please get in touch."

Mr Coles said the search also included police divers.

Mr Thompson is 5ft 9in (1.75m), with short brown hair and blue eyes.

He was last seen wearing brown leather lace-up boots, jeans, and, possibly, a white shirt with blue thin stripes

People with information who who may have seen Mr Thompson can contact the command room at Cardiff Bay Police Station.

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