Tom Parker's legacy is clear - his love for his family and raising awareness of brain tumours

The legacy of The Wanted singer Tom Parker will be the love he had for his family and his passion for raising awareness of brain tumours, a close friend has said.

The 33-year-old passed away peacefully on Wednesday, 30 March, with his family by his side, after a long battle with terminal brain cancer glioblastoma.

The Bolton-born singer was diagnosed in October 2020 and was receiving treatment in Spain, but sadly took a turn for the worst in recent weeks.

Thousands have paid tribute to the much-loved boyband member, including one of Tom's good friends David Bolton who knows all too well how it feels to live with a brain tumour.

David, from the Wirral, has the same type of cancer as Tom and has miraculously lived with it for eight years. Only 2% of people live this long.

After Tom first went public with his diagnosis 18 months ago, Dave reached out on social media and the pair quickly became firm friends. They spoke most days over the phone.

"At the beginning I was that hope for him", Dave explained. "He messaged me one night and said 'I'm really scared Dave'. And I told him to call me - any day or night.

"He was a down-to-earth, normal guy. You'd never think he was some huge, global sensation. He was a family-orientated guy.

"The love he had for his kids and for his wife Kelsey, who is just amazing, is unreal."

Even though they met only three to four times in person, David said they called each other 'brothers' because they shared such a close bond.

Tom Parker with bandmates Siva Kaneswaran and Nathan Skyes during one of his final appearances on stage. Credit: Siva Kaneswaran / Instagram

After seeing recent pictures and videos of Tom, David said he knew that he did not have long left to live.

"I've been in this world of cancer, especially brain tumours, for eight years and how horrific they are. I saw his decline."

David spoke with the 33-year-old's wife Kelsey on the morning of his death.

"I thought for her to think of me and message me when her husband, the love of her life, is dying - it meant a lot. It touched me", David said, holding back tears.

"The news hit me really hard. It's a tragic loss."

David and the charity Brain Tumour Research UK say the singer used the time he had left to him to raise awareness of the disease, and to raise funds to fight it.

Tom took part in several fundraisers for brain cancer research during his final years, made a documentary about his journey and brought attention to the disease.

He spoke to the House of Commons All-Party Parliamentary Group on Brain Tumours in December, telling them: "I'm staggered they can find a cure for Covid within a year but, for decades on end, they haven't found better treatments let alone a cure for brain tumours."

"He was a dad, he was a lad, he was a husband who wanted to raise awareness and do the best he could with the time he had left", David commented.

Hugh Adams, from Brain Tumour Research, said the charity was "shattered" to hear of Tom's death, but say his passion for raising awareness will continue to live on.

"He brought the cuase of Brain Tmour Research to so many people who wouldn't know about it normally.

"He spoke about the fact that it is the biggest cancer killer in children and adults under 40 and we will carry on that legact. Tom will not be forgotten."

More than 12,000 people are diagnosed with brain tumours in the UK every year, and around a quarter are glioblastomas.

Listen to Unscripted, an entertainment podcast by ITV News.