Hundreds line the streets for The Wanted star Tom Parker in touching funeral procession


Hundreds of fans have lined the streets to mark their respects for The Wanted star Tom Parker, who passed away aged 33 on March 30 .

His funeral is taking place at St Francis of Assisi church in south-east London this morning (April 20), alongside a procession through Petts Woods. Outside the church, where his funeral is taking place, flowers spelled out the words “Glad You Came”, the title of The Wanted’s 2011 hit that went to number one in multiple countries.

The Bolton-born singer’s widow, Kelsey, whom he married in 2018, led a courtship featuring three black horses through Petts Wood in south-east London this morning (April 20). Flowers spelling out the word “Daddy” adorned the side of the carriage while a flowered sign that spelled the word “Tom” in red roses was attached to the front.

The dad-of-two was diagnosed whilst Kelsey was pregnant with their second child and one-year-old son Bodhi in 2020. Parker disclosed in October 2020 that he had been diagnosed with stage four glioblastoma and had begun radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

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Despite his diagnosis, in the weeks before his death he had performed on stage with his bandmates as part of their much-delayed reunion tour. Ahead of today’s procession, receptionist Chloe Mayne, 25, from Plumstead, a self-professed “super-fan” of the late singer, told the PA news agency: “It was amazing seeing him (perform live). It’s horrible that I saw him at the O2 and then two weeks later he died.



The coffin is lifted from a horse-drawn hearse before a funeral service for Tom Parker

“The day he died it really hit me. To be fair I don’t think anyone was expecting it that quickly, I thought he’d have at least another Christmas and maybe next year. He did look bad but then he was in Spain for three weeks having treatment before the tour started so I think everyone thought it was bad because of that.



Funeral of Tom Parker of the Wanted Saint Francis of Assisi Parish Church in Petts Wood , Tom was diagnosed with a brain tumor in October 2020 and on Wednesday 30th March 2022 he passed away peacefully with all of his closest friends and family by his side.
A sign recognizing The Wanted’s biggest hit was displayed outside Saint Francis of Assisi Parish Church in Petts Wood

“Most shows he did one song on the tour but at the O2 he did two because I think his kid was there – he did Gold Forever and Glad You Came. He was sitting in a chair but it was amazing, it looked like he was having the time of his life from him.

Ms Mayne said she was 15 when she became a fan of The Wanted and had attended around 25 of the band’s concerts, adding: “He was my childhood really.”



ORPINGTON, ENGLAND - APRIL 20: Wife of Tom Parker, Kelsey Parker (C), follows a horse-drawn hearse during a procession through Orpington before a funeral service at St Francis of Assisi church on April 20, 2022 in Orpington, England.  British singer Tom Parker, a member of popular boy band The Wanted, died at the age of 33 after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor.  (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Tom’s wife Kelsey Parker follows the horse-drawn hearse

Kevin George and Susan Potter, from Orpington, whose eldest son Daniel died from an astrocytoma Grade 3 brain tumor at the age of 22 in 2018, were among those waiting outside the church. Asked whether Parker’s campaigning for brain tumor research in his final months had affected her, Ms Potter, who was carrying a framed picture of her son, said: “Of course it did, especially the BBC One interview that they did and the way he dealt with it.




“It was exactly how my son dealt with it – exactly. In fact, at his funeral we played Bon Jovi, It’s My Life, because that kind of (message) – it’s my life, I am going to live it now, I am going to live it today.



ORPINGTON, ENGLAND - APRIL 20: A horse-drawn hearse leads a procession through Orpington before a funeral service for Tom Parker at St Francis of Assisi church on April 20, 2022 in Orpington, England.  British singer Tom Parker, a member of popular boy band The Wanted, died at the age of 33 after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor.  (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
A horse-drawn hearse leads a procession through Orpington before a funeral service for Tom Parker at St Francis of Assisi church

Mr George said: “It’s good. It is raising the profile as well. He has raised a lot of money for research, which is what it needs. A lot of other cancers have almost been eradicated. They need to have more research into brain tumours.”

Tom’s wife Kelsey has also created a GoFundMe page to ‘keep Tom’s memory alive forever’ via donations to charitable causes, instead of sending flowers and cards. The page exceeded its £5,000 target within the first 12 hours and so far has received more than £54,000 in donations.




www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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