Fans line streets for The Wanted's Tom Parker's funeral as widow Kelsey Parker mourns her 'soulmate'
The Wanted singer Tom Parker's widow has described him as her "soulmate" in an emotional tribute at his funeral.
Members of the band joined together to carry the coffin of their bandmate, as fans lined the streets before the funeral service for the singer took place in south-east London.
The Bolton-born singer passed away on Wednesday, 30 March surrounded by his family after having been diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour, glioblastoma.
His wife, Kelsey Parker, invited people to pay their last respects outside his funeral, which took place on Wednesday, 20 April, in Petts Wood.
She wore a barette reading "Tom" in her hair as she wept at the service for her late husband and father of their two children, Aurelia and Bodhi.
On Instagram, Kelsey said it "would be beautiful to have everyone line the route as we head to our private service."
She said people are then welcome to stand outside of the church for the duration of the service which will be relayed on screens.
Family and close friends of the star gathered in The Sovereign Of The Seas pub opposite the funeral parlour before the procession began.
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.
Crowds of fans lined the route to a private funeral service and stood outside of the church.
The sun shone as Tom Parker's bandmates from The Wanted - Jay McGuiness, Max George, Siva Kaneswaran and Nathan Sykes - carried his coffin into the church.
The Oasis classic Champagne Supernova was played as he was brought in.
Sam Holder reports.
During the private service, a pre-recorded message from Kelsey was played in which she shared anecdotes including about how the pair first met at a nightclub before Parker shot to fame.
“From that moment I told everyone I wanted to marry Tom Parker,” she said before becoming tearful.
The congregation erupted into laughter when she added: “Tom told me he was going to be famous and wouldn’t have time for a girlfriend, but he wouldn’t leave me alone.”
She added: “I will treasure every memory because life with you was never dull. You were always coming up with songs, new game shows and we all know how much you loved an invention – I bet you were gutted you never made it on Dragons’ Den.
“Marrying you was the best day of my life… soulmates that’s what we are.”
Bandmate Max George also addressed the funeral service.
He said: “I could actually hear him saying, ‘It’s about time’, as he carried us for the last 12 years.”
He also joked that Parker had been the only member of The Wanted to have had a “punch-up” with all his bandmates, prompting laughter from attendees.
The singer added: “Everything he did he did with best intentions, even if it was a fight, he got away with it because it was Tom.
“I could say so much about Tom. One thing I will always remember is his laugh. He loves laughing at people and we experienced that every day.
“He has left us far too early and we will miss him so much. The people outside, the people all around the world, is a credit to him you. Rest easy mate.”
Tom, who was one of five singers in the British boyband, spent the remainder of his years bringing awareness to brain tumours - and raising money to fight it.
Now after his death, his family have continued his legacy by raising more than £54,000, which will go towards "amazing causes in Tom’s name."
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