Fans Pay Their Respects At Tom Parker’s Funeral
Hundreds of fans gathered to pay their respects at the funeral of The Wanted singer Tom Parker, who sadly died last month from a brain tumour.
The 33-year-old’s widow Kelsey led a cortege through Petts Wood earlier this week, with members of the public lining the streets as three black horses pulled the hearse through the south-east London borough of Queensway.
Floral displays spelling out the words ‘Daddy’ and ‘Tom’ were on the side of the carriage, while there was also a flower arrangement of one of the group’s songs, entitled ‘Glad You Came’.
The ceremony was held at St Francis of Assisi church and was attended by Tom’s family and friends, including his bandmates and One Direction’s Liam Payne.
Four large TV screens were set up outside the church so fans could watch the service, while mourners grieved privately inside.
The Wanted’s Jay McGuiness, Max George, Siva Kaneswaran and Nathan Sykes carried the coffin into the church, with George taking the stand to deliver a speech to the congregation about their loss.
“He has left us far too early and we will miss him so much. The heartbreak shared here today is a credit to the love Tom shared. The people outside, the people all around the world, is a credit to him. Rest easy, mate,” he said.
Kelsey, who shares children Aurelia Rose and Bodhi with Tom, also gave a pre-recorded eulogy, with the audio message saying: “You were the best husband I could ever ask for… You did everything with love and no malice.”
The couple wed in 2018 and it was only a couple of years later that Tom was diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour, with doctors giving him a prognosis of 12 to 18 months.
He underwent various treatments over the last year and a half, including chemotherapy and radiotherapy. However, he lost his battle with cancer late last month, leaving behind a young family and thousands of grieving fans.
Always a music lover, Oasis’ Champagne Supernova and Live Forever, Stereophonics’ Handbags and Gladrags, Amazing Grace, and the group’s single Gold Forever were played during the service.
When the coffin was carried back to the hearse, fans released golden heart-shaped balloons into the sky.
Tom did not just make history in the music industry, but had a huge impact in raising awareness and funding for brain tumours in the short amount of time since his diagnosis.
Hugh Adams from Brain Tumour Research said: “Tom has spoken openly and honestly about the impact of the disease and in doing so, has helped to raise awareness of the devastation caused by brain tumours.”
Theresa Dauncey from National Brain Appeal also told BBC Breakfast: “Tom was a fantastic spokesperson, and he chose to bring attention to the lack of funding.”
She added that while many people would have locked themselves away and spent their remaining time with their relatives, Tom “got people together, made a documentary, had a concert [and] brought so many people’s attention to this sort of terrible lack of awareness”.
More children and young adults die from brain tumours than any other form of cancer, despite just one per cent of the government’s cancer research budget being dedicated to it.
For memorial bookmarks to honour your loved one, take a look here.