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BOLTON’S WARRIOR: Stars pay tribute to Tom Parker’s ‘fight, bravery and spirit’

STARS paid tribute to singer Tom Parker’s bravery, fight and spirit after he sadly died today, aged just 33.

The Wanted star, from Bolton, England died on Wednesday surrounded by close friends and family, 17 months after announcing he had been diagnosed with a brain tumour. 

Famous names from the worlds of music and TV shared tributes after the news was announced via a statement on his band’s social media accounts.

Ed Sheeran was joined by Spandau Ballet’s Martin Kemp in paying tribute to the singer after news of his death broke.

Tom Parker and Ed Sheeran pose at Capital FM’s Summertime Ball after-party at London’s Mahiki in 2013 CREDIT: Dave M. Benett/Getty Images

He wrote on Instagram: “So sad to hear of Tom’s passing. Thoughts and love are with Kelsey, his children and his family. Very sad day, what a lovely guy.”

Former One Direction star Liam Payne said he was “heartbroken” to hear the news.

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He added: “He was so full of life and humour, and the memories I have of him with stay with me forever.

“Sending my thoughts out to his family and his brothers in The Wanted.”

Davina McCall remembered Parker as the “kindest soul”.

The television presenter wrote in a tweet: “Don’t even know what to say.

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“My thoughts and prayers go out to Kelsey and the kids and to Toms family, also to the wanted boys. I’m so so sorry . The kindest soul.”

Actor and musician Martin Kemp tweeted: “Tom Parker, rest in peace my love goes out to all your family and all your friends.. your bravery, your fight and your spirit will never be forgotten”.

Singer Joe McElderry, who won The X Factor in 2009, tweeted: “So very very sad (emoji) life can be cruel! My thoughts to his family and friends.”

TV presenter Rylan Clark also paid tribute.

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He said: “I’ve just seen the news about Tom and that’s absolutely gutting. He was such a good’un. So sad to hear.

“Sending my love to Kelsey and the kids. Awful news x #RipTom x”

Union J singer JJ Hamblett called Parker “an incredible artist and real family man”.

He tweeted: “Just seen the news…I am speechless!!!”

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“Tom Parker was such a nice guy who was an incredible artist and real family man!

“Such a cruel, cruel world… RIP Tom.. you will be missed but never never forgotten”.

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

He appeared alongside his bandmates at a Stand Up To Cancer concert in December, marking the first time they had performed together since 2014.

Earlier this year, he performed on stage with his bandmates during their much-delayed reunion tour.

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A statement on the band’s Instagram page said: “Max, Jay, Siva, Nathan and the whole Wanted family are devastated by the tragic and premature loss of our bandmate Tom Parker, who passed away peacefully at lunchtime today surrounded by his family and his band mates.

“AMAZING HUSBAND”

His widow, Kelsey Parker, formerly Hardwick, said the hearts of his family were broken by his death

She wrote on Instagram: “It is with the heaviest of hearts that we confirm Tom passed away peacefully earlier today with all of his family by his side.

“Our hearts are broken, Tom was the centre of our world and we can’t imagine life without his infectious smile and energetic presence.

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“We are truly thankful for the outpouring of love and support and ask that we all unite to ensure Tom’s light continues to shine for his beautiful children.

“Thank you to everyone who has supported in his care throughout, he fought until the very end. I’m forever proud of you.”

Siva Kaneswaran directly addressed his late bandmate in a post on Instagram.

He wrote: “Hey Tom, hope you’re having a blast up there.

“I am so grateful that I had a chance to witness your true courage. It has been a pleasure of my life Tommy Boy.

“Thank you for letting us see you light up the world. Talk to you soon and see you later. Love you brother x”

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During an appearance on This Morning, Parker joked that they were hoping for another.

In January 2021, he announced in an Instagram post that there had been a “significant reduction” in the size of the tumour and that he was “responding well to treatment”.

Parker appeared alongside his bandmates at a Stand Up To Cancer in December, marking the first time their have performed together since 2014.

The group, best known for hits Glad You Came, Chasing The Sun and All Time Low, also recently released a greatest hits album, entitled Most Wanted – The Greatest Hits.

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Parker used his platform to campaign for better treatments for those suffering brain traumas.

He told an All-Party Parliamentary Group on Brain Tumours in December: “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.

“Why is it taking so long for clinical trials to come through?”

More follows. 

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