This week marks 30 years since 15-year-old schoolboy Lee Boxell disappeared without trace from Sutton.

Warren Gwillym, who works as a sub editor for Sutton Guardian, went to Cheam High School with Lee, and together they watched Sutton United as passionate football fans during the 1980s.

Their favourite team was playing Lancashire-based side Chorley on the day Lee was reported missing on September 10, 1988.

Mr Gwillym, who has been at the newspaper for 17 years, said: “I was going to the match on the supporters’ coach, so Lee gave me some money to buy him a programme. Sadly, I never got to give it to him.

“Over the years, there’s been a lot of speculation as to what might have happened to him but he was not the kind of lad to run away. His parents are lovely people and he always seemed happy with home life.

“I have really fond memories of Lee. He was a really nice lad. He always seemed to be smiling and enjoyed a laugh. He was easy to get on with, had no hidden agenda, and was happy not being one of the in-crowd.”

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Lee Boxell. Photo: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire

After 30 years, it's still not clear what happened to Lee, and his father Peter has pleaded with the public to end his “limbo” and help reveal whether his son is still alive.

Several new leads have been pursued by police but none have been able to uncover the truth of what happened.

In 2012, police discovered the then-15-year-old used to visit an outbuilding at St Dunstan’s Church – dubbed “The Shed”.

It was a known gathering place for teenagers who were then targeted by sexual predators.

Two years later three men were arrested on suspicion of murder before they were released on bail.

Last month, a Met Police spokesman said officers were “pursuing a new line of enquiry” in his case.

However, Scotland Yard confirmed on September 7 that there were no updates to the investigation.

Mr Gwillym added: “Sutton was a very different place in the late 1980s to what it is now. There were few, if any CCTV cameras. His disappearance was shocking for everybody as Sutton had a reputation for being a safe place back then.

“Our friendship was really just gaining momentum when he went missing. It’s unbelievable to think it’s now 30 years. Throughout that time Lee has never been far from my thoughts.”

Peter Boxell, now 71, has since urged people who know what happened to Lee three decades ago to come forward and help assist investigators.

In an appeal through the charity Missing People, he said: “I am almost 72 now and do not want my life to end without discovering what happened to my son.”

He was one of dozens of singers who performed the song ‘I Miss You’ on Britain’s Got Talent last year for the Missing People Choir in a moving tribute.

While Lee’s room has remained the same as when he vanished that day in 1988, his parents have never given up hope of finding out what happened to their son.

Sutton Guardian contacted Lee's mother directly, however, she declined to speak at this time.