The Wanted star Max George has said he found “a bit of comfort” in still messaging bandmate Tom Parker, who died in March at the age of 33.
The singer, from Bolton, died from an inoperable brain tumour, leaving behind his wife Kelsey and children Aurelia and Bodhi.
At his funeral, bandmates George, Jay McGuiness, Siva Kaneswaran and Nathan Sykes served as pallbearers, carrying the coffin into St Francis of Assisi church in Petts Wood, south-east London.
George told This Morning presenters Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary: “I’m still trying to process it, I still text him actually.
“If I get pictures or stuff that fans have made with him in it or they send a nice message to do with Tom, I’ll WhatsApp it to him.
“I just find a bit of comfort in that. The worst bit is when I’m not doing it and I do it accidentally. Sometimes I go to do it and I’m like, ‘Oh no’.”
Max George speaks on ITV's This Morning
Parker announced in October 2020 he had been diagnosed with stage-four glioblastoma and had begun radiotherapy and chemotherapy. He wrote about his experiences in an upcoming book titled Hope.
George said: “It’s a book that Tom did over the last 12 months of his life.
“It goes from the very start, from his upbringing all the way to the end – the whole journey, how he had rough beginnings and his own troubles, but it’s a book about hope and it’s a book about triumph and obviously Tom had a lot of difficulties along the way, especially towards the end – the most difficult thing anyone could go through – and Kelsey, obviously.
“There were days where the days were quite long, especially when he was going through the chemo phase because I know that really knocked him, but even still, he got through it.
“It was probably therapeutic for him on those days where he could just sit back and talk.
“To be honest I don’t know how he did that, because he was going through hell, but he was still out there talking to people that had glioblastoma and how they could put a positive spin on it and that they still have life to live.”
George reflected on his first meeting with Parker, saying they bonded “immediately”.
He said: “It was Manchester Piccadilly station, I saw him at the audition process for the band.
“He was the loud one from Bolton. He was always at the front, always asking questions. We walked in together and I just always remember thinking, ‘The scally from Bolton…’ and I was so happy he was in.
“Immediately me and him just hit it off. We had very similar backgrounds and we just became best mates.
“Within a week we were living in the same house and we did everything together.”
George added that he regularly checks in with Parker’s widow Kelsey, adding that she has been “awesome” and “really strong like Tom” following his death in March.
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