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Fans of The Wanted star Tom Parker line streets for singer’s funeral

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F

ans of the The Wanted star Tom Parker have lined the streets to attend the singer’s funeral in south-east London.

The singer died last month at the age of 33, surrounded by his family and bandmates, 17 months after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour.

Among the mourners at the private service at the Saint Francis of Assisi Parish Church in Petts Wood on Wednesday morning were his widow, Kelsey Hardwick, and former The Wanted bandmates who acted as pallbearers.

By 10am, fans had lined either side of the streets waiting for the funeral procession to begin, including lots of mums with buggies.

Many bowed their heads in a sign of respect as the hearse and horse drawn carriage filed past the crowds.

A guitar-shaped flower arrangement with the word ‘Brother’ lay on top of the hearse, as did another with ‘Papi’.

Instrumental versions of ‘Hallejuah’ and ‘Over the Rainbow’ played outside the church as wellwishers gathered around screens to watch the service, with many reaching for tissues as the procession began.

Parker’s widow Kelsey, who shares two children with the late singer, led the procession walking behind the hearse.

Tina Campbell / Evening Standard

One mourner standing outside Parker’s funeral was 24-year-old The Wanted fan Laura Chalk, from Essex.

She said: “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 am a big fan. Honestly it is a real privilege to be here.”

As his coffin was taken inside the church, ‘Champagne Supernova’ by one of Parker’s favourite bands, Oasis, played.

A GoFundMe page has been set up by Parker’s widow 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.

Earlier this month, she thanked all those who have donated to the fund for their “heartwarming messages” which she said have “really shone a light on just what a legend my Tom is” and highlighted his achievements in the final 18 months of his life.

The couple married in 2018 and had a daughter, Aurelia Rose, in 2019 and a son, Bodhi, in October last year.

Parker disclosed in October 2020 that he had been diagnosed with stage four glioblastoma and had begun radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

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.

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