A NEW appeal has been issued to find a Southampton man who vanished without a trace nearly 20 years ago.

There have been no reported sightings of Paul Balmforth, pictured, since he left the Grosvenor Casino in the city’s Leisure World complex after a night out, telling the doorman he planned to jog the eight miles home to Dibden Purlieu.

Now a national charity is making a fresh appeal for information following the 19th anniversary of the 27-year-old’s disappearance on February 8, 2000.

Missing People hopes that the use of its Facebook account, which has nearly 100,000 followers, and 87,000 follower strong Twitter account to post details will help jog a memory or bring fresh information to the case.

The Asda Southampton bakery worker and aspiring writer, of Peartree Road, was carrying a black flight bag, believed to contain a manuscript of a novel he was working on.

Mr Balmforth, who is said to have had grand ambitions for the future and was just putting the finishing touches to his debut novel, left Leisure World and was never seen again.

It was the night the world stopped for his parents Angela and Eric, and his three younger brothers. The disappearance remains a mystery that has left police baffled and his loved ones desperate to know he is safe and well.

Theories about Paul’s disappearance include that he attempted to swim across Southampton Water and was swept away by strong currents.

Police bloodhounds which were drafted in in the weeks following Paul’s disappearance followed a trail which ended in the docks area, adding to speculation that he might have attempted the treacherous crossing.

He had also attempted the swim once before as a dare and had got as far as a Ministry of Defence ship at Marchwood military port.

The story of Mr Balmforth’s disappearance featured on the BBC1 programme Missing in April 2007 in the continuing bid to track him down.

If you have any information about Paul’s disappearance, call or text 116 000.