The Wanted bandmember died on Wednesday March 30 aged 33 surrounded by his loved ones and bandmates, following a two-year battle with stage 4 glioblastoma.
The pop singer’s widow, Kelsey, whom he married in 2018, broke down as she led a cortege featuring three black horses through Petts Wood on Wednesday morning, walking arm in arm with her parents.
Kelsey had invited mourners to gather outside the Saint Francis of Assisi Parish Church in Petts Wood for the 10:45am service, where screens broadcasted the service.
Funeral: Tom Parker’s widow Kelsey, whom he married in 2018, led a cortege featuring three black horses on Wednesday morning, arm in arm with her parents as The Wanted star’s funeral took place in Petts Wood, London
Hundreds of fans have joined Tom Parker ‘s family and friends for his funeral in south-east London after his widower Kelsey encouraged fans of the late singer to pay their respects
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.
Parker died last month at the age of 33, surrounded by his family and bandmates, 17 months after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour.
Family and close friends of the star gathered in The Sovereign Of The Seas pub opposite the funeral parlour before the procession began.
Paying their respects: Kelsey had invited mourners to gather outside the Saint Francis of Assisi Parish Church in Petts Wood for the 10:45am service, where screens broadcasted the service
Fans broke down in tears as they waited for the service to begin
Tragic: The Wanted bandmember died on Wednesday March 30 aged 33 surrounded by his loved ones and bandmates, following a two-year battle with stage 4 glioblastoma
Tributes: Outside St Francis of Assisi church, flowers spelled out the words ‘Glad You Came’, the title of The Wanted’s 2011 hit that went to number one in multiple countries
Outside St Francis of Assisi church, flowers spelled out the words ‘Glad You Came’, the title of The Wanted’s 2011 hit that went to number one in multiple countries.
Fans arrived wearing personalised t-shirts with the words: ‘This man was a legend a legend of his time’.
Kelsey previously said it would be ‘beautiful’ to see his devotees ‘line the route’ to the venue where his friends and family will pay tribute.
T-shirt tributes: Fans arrived wearing personalised t-shirts with the words: ‘This man was a legend a legend of his time’
Kelsey has also politely requested that people donate to her GoFundMe account instead of sending gifts and flowers, as she explained the proceeds would be going to causes in Tom’s name.
She wrote on Instagram: ‘I am Kelsey Parker, very proud wife of Tom Parker, probably best known for being one fifth of UK boyband The Wanted, but to those who knew him he was my husband, a Daddy, son, brother and friend.
‘As many of you know, Tom was diagnosed with a brain tumour in October 2020 and on Wednesday 30th March 2022 he passed away peacefully with all of his closest friends and family by his side.
‘He was my childhood’: The Wanted fans share their memories of Tom Parker as they arrive at his funeral
Kevin George and Susan Potter, from Orpington, whose eldest son Daniel died in 2018 aged 22 from an astrocytoma Grade 3 brain tumour, were among those waiting outside the church ahead of the funeral of The Wanted star Tom Parker.
Asked whether Parker’s campaigning for brain tumour 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.’
Mr George added: ‘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.’
Ahead of the cortege for Tom Parker, receptionist Chloe Mayne, 25 from Plumstead and 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 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.
‘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.’
Ms Mayne said she was 15 when she became a fan of The Wanted and had attended around 25 of the boy band’s concerts, adding: ‘He was my childhood really.’
Laura Chalk, 24, from Essex said outside Tom Parker’s funeral: ‘I still don’t believe that Tom is gone; he has such a special place in my heart.
‘Being here is helping me let go a bit, I think it is nice for Kelsey and his kids to see such a crowd of his fans and show how much he meant to the world.
‘I was very young and I used to have Top Of The Pops magazine, there was this new band The Wanted and I didn’t really have internet – my parents were quite strict – and I heard All Time Low and from then I have been The Wanted crazy.
‘I was too young to afford my own tickets around the time but I saw them for my first and only time in London for their last tour.
‘Just a few weeks ago, I was travelling to America the week after so it happened when I was out there and it was just heart-breaking because I didn’t have anyone to comfort me or understood.
‘That’s why I’m here today because I missed the vigils.
‘The reunion tour was incredible. When he came out I had tears gushing, it was so nice to see them all together and I didn’t even think about how long it would be and I was just living in that moment. It was just the best most incredible night.
‘I am a big fan. Honestly it is a real privilege to be here. It is special because I feel like a funeral should be private, immediate family and friends, but I feel The Wanted fans are a family and always have been and I know Tom really loved every single one of his.’
Support: His actress wife, 32, has invited mourners to gather outside the Saint Francis of Assisi Parish Church in Petts Wood at 10:45am, where screens will broadcast the service
Emotional: She said it would be ‘beautiful’ to see his devotees ‘line the route’ to the venue where his friends and family will pay tribute
‘Our hearts are truly broken, Tom was the centre of our world and we can’t imagine life without him, but one of the biggest sources of comfort over the last 2 years has been the outpouring of love and support we’ve all received.
‘We can’t thank everyone enough for holding Tom, myself and the children in your thoughts and prayers, for lighting candles and sharing beautiful messages of hope and condolence.’
Kelsey explained how she she desires to turn the grief into something ‘positive’ and ‘keep Tom’s memory alive forever.’
Open: Kelsey took to Instagram on Saturday evening with a candid photo of her and her late husband, accompanied by a heartfelt message to their ever-loyal fanbase
‘We want to take everyone’s incredible love, support and generosity and turn our grief into something positive and to keep Tom’s memory alive forever. We politely request that instead of gifts and flowers, donations are made to this GoFundMe account with all proceeds eventually going to amazing causes in Tom’s name, to help others in need.
‘We simply couldn’t have got through the last 2 years without the help and support we have received and if we can offer it back to others that would be the best way to honour Tom and make our two children, Aurelia and Bodhi proud,’ Kelsey said.
She signed off: ‘From the bottom of our hearts, a huge thank you. If love alone could have saved Tom, he would have lived forever…’.
To date, the fundraiser has surpassed the goal by £30,000, with donations amounting to an incredible £58,000 on the day of the funeral .
Brave: Kelsey explained how she she desires to turn the grief into something ‘positive’ and ‘keep Tom’s memory alive forever’
Tom ensured his young family were provided for by buying a ‘forever home’ touring and writing a memoir just months before his death from brain cancer aged 33.
While bravely sharing every stage of his cancer journey, the singer detailed how it was his number one priority to provide security to wife Kelsey and their two children Aurelia, two, and Bodhi, one, in the years to come – as he faced an uncertain future.
Speaking on Channel 4 documentary Inside My Head which aired in November, the musician revealed his new home, saying: ‘This is gonna be our forever home.
‘It’s important for me that obviously the kids and Kels have got somewhere nice to grow up.
Loss: Tom ensured his young family were provided for by buying a ‘forever home’ touring and writing a memoir just months before his death from brain cancer aged 33 (pictured with wife Kelsey and children Aurelia, two, and Bodhi, one)
‘I don’t know what’s going to happen with my health over the next few years, so as long as they’re alright and they’re all good here, that’s all that matters.’
‘We’re all going to grow old together here, fingers crossed.’
He added: ‘Been through tough times to be honest and I’m preparing to buy a place like this, who would have thought? I’m proud of myself.’
One week before his death, Tom revealed he had been writing a tell-all memoir.