Tom Parker: who was The Wanted singer after cancer death aged 33 - what type of brain tumour did he have?

Tom Parker’s funeral was held on Wednesday (20 April) at a church in South East London

<p>Kelsey Parker (centre) at the funeral of her husband Tom Parker (Photo: PA)</p>

Kelsey Parker (centre) at the funeral of her husband Tom Parker (Photo: PA)

The Wanted star Tom Parker died at the age of just 33 in March 2022.

The pop star had been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour known as stage 4 glioblastoma in October 2020.

A private funeral ceremony for the singer took place in London on Wednesday (20 April).

Alongside the likes of One Direction and JLS, five-piece band The Wanted were one of the most successful British pop groups of the early 2010s.

Tom Parker (centre, back row) was a member of The Wanted - a boy band who scored a slew of top 10 hits in the 2010s (image: PA)

With hits including ‘All time low’, ‘Glad you came’ and ‘Chasing the sun’, the group scored two number 1 singles and ten top 10 chart hits.

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They reformed in 2020 having gone on an indefinite hiatus in 2014.

So who was Tom Parker - and what is glioblastoma?

Who was Tom Parker?

Tom Parker was a member of The Wanted alongside Max George, Jay McGuiness, Siva Kaneswaren and Nathan Sykes.

He was born and bred in Bolton.

The Wanted began making music together in 2009 after being put together by music producer Jayne Collins.

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Before becoming a member of the group, Parker was part of a Take That tribute band that toured the North of England.

Tom Parker performed with The Wanted after revealing his brain tumour had stabilised (image: Getty Images)

After a largely successful five-year period that saw them release three albums and perform in UK arenas, The Wanted announced in 2014 they were going on an indefinite hiatus to pursue solo projects.

During this period, Parker appeared on several TV reality shows, including MasterChef And The Jump.

The 33-year-old also starred as Danny Zuko in a UK tour of the musical Grease.

In 2018, Parker married Kelsey Hardwick with whom he had two children - Aurelia and Bodhi.

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When did Tom Parker die?

Tom Parker died at lunchtime on 30 March.

His passing was revealed by his wife in a post on Instagram.

Tom and Kelsey Parker wed in 2018 (image: PA)

Kelsey Parker said: “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.”

In a separate message posted on the social media site, The Wanted said they were “devastated” by his death and revealed he “passed away peacefully at lunchtime surrounded by his family and his band mates”.

After the news of his death, tributes flooded in for Tom Parker.

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When did Tom Parker’s funeral take place?

Tom Parker was laid to rest on Wednesday 20 April in a private church service held in Petts Wood, South East London.

Hundreds of The Wanted’s fans watched on from big screens outside the Saint Francis of Assisi Parish Church.

His bandmates were pallbearers and it has been reported Parker’s coffin entered the church as the song ‘Champagne Supernova’ by Oasis was played.

Kelsey Parker (centre) at the funeral of her husband Tom Parker (Photo: PA)

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When was Tom Parker diagnosed with glioblastoma?

In 2020, The Wanted planned to publicly reform for a new album and tour.

However, the Covid pandemic hit and then, in October that year, Parker revealed he had been diagnosed with inoperable stage 4 glioblastoma - a type of brain tumour.

Parker has been public about his illness, revealing he had two seizures in the lead up to his diagnosis.

He has gone through chemotherapy and radiotherapy and said in a post on social media in January 2021 that this treatment had “significantly reduced” the size of the tumour.

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Later in 2021, Parker was part of Channel 4’s Stand Up to Cancer telethon, which featured The Wanted’s first live appearance since they went on hiatus.

The band released new music in October 2021 before launching greatest hits album Most Wanted in November and announcing a tour that’s taking place throughout March 2022.

This coincided with news from Parker that his brain tumour was “under control”.

In a bid to get fit for the new tour, Parker underwent three weeks of treatment in a clinic in Spain.

Parker made his first appearance on the band’s reunion tour in Bournemouth on 7 March, during which he sang from a golden throne.

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What is glioblastoma?

Glioblastoma is a malignant stage four brain tumour - i.e. one of the most aggressive forms of brain cancer you can get.

This type of tumour is among the most common, accounting for 12% to 15% of all brain tumours.

Annually in the UK, between three to four new cases of glioblastoma are diagnosed per 100,000 people.

According to The Brain Tumour Charity, this type of tumour:

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  • Grows quickly
  • Has threadlike tendrils that extend into other parts of the brain
  • Is likely to spread within the brain
  • May come back, even if it’s treated intensively

Symptoms vary depending on where the tumour is situated.

The NHS says common symptoms include:

  • Headaches (often worse in the morning and when coughing or straining)
  • Fits (seizures)
  • Regular nausea or vomiting
  • Memory problems or changes in personality
  • Weakness, vision problems or speech problems that get worse

GPs can spot brain tumours by examining the back of your eye.

If they suspect a tumour, you will typically be referred to a neurologist who will test your nervous system, e.g. your sight and hearing, and will then give you a CT or MRI scan.

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Treatments include surgery, during which as much of the tumour as possible is removed, as well as chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Outlooks vary from person to person as they depend on the size of tumour and how successful treatment has been.

But recovery will often see people continue to have seizures, as well as walking difficulties and issues with speech.