Inside The Wanted’s Tom Parker’s teary proposal before two bandmates swerved wedding
Cancer-stricken Tom Parker had hoped his The Wanted bandmates would be ushers at his wedding to Kelsey Hardwick – but only two attended
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The Wanted’s Tom Parker was just 21 when he spotted actress Kelsey Hardwick across a London nightclub and made his move on the woman who would one day become his wife.
Kelsey, who starred as a schoolgirl in Harry Potter And The Prisoner of Azkaban, was partying with friends at the swish Aura night club in Mayfair just before Christmas in 2009 when Tom asked for her name – and she gave a fake one.
But despite playing hard to get, Kelsey immediately realised she had found The One.
“I knew the moment I saw you I would spend the rest of my life with you,” she wrote on Instagram alongside a picture of them flirting on that first fateful night.
Seven years later, Tom, 32 – who has tragically been diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour – made it official by proposing in the most beautiful way.
After three months of careful planning and preparation, Kelsey, 30, got the surprise of her life when she walked in to find a row of petals leading up to the television.
On the screen was a montage of pictures from the moment they met.
“I was crying my eyes out at this point,” Tom told Hello! “Then at the end it said, ‘Here’s to the next chapter, turn around’, and when she turned around I was down on one knee.
“I literally could not get my words out, I was so overcome with emotion.”
Adding to the romance, he’d even asked a friend to write a song for them and had it playing softly in the background.
Kelsey of course said ‘yes’ and they married at Ridge Farm in Surrey in July 2018, where Tom had hoped his bandmates Max George, Jay McGuiness, Siva Kaneswaran and Nathan Sykes would all be ushers.
However, Tom expressed his disappointment at only two of his former bandmates, Max and Jay, accepting his invitation.
In an interview with OK! Magazine, Tom said: “It’s weird, I emailed all the boys a few months ago and asked them to be ushers. As we’ve not all been together since 2014, I thought my wedding might have been a nice moment for it. Siva and Nathan said they’d like to but they didn’t know what they were doing at that time.
“Then it got closer and I needed their suit sizes,” he continued. “Siva said no and Nathan didn’t reply. It is what it is. We all got on in the band, but I was closer to Max and Jay; it was usually us three who went out and got smashed on tour. I’m happy they were there.”
But it’s all water under the bridge now with Tom’s devastated bandmates having rallied to support the singer following his shock cancer diagnosis.
Max led the online well-wishes, writing: “You’ve always been one in a million. I love you Tom, let’s get popping.
“You will beat this mate. You’re TOM PARKER. Love you.”
And Tom told OK! magazine his bandmates have been scouring the internet for information about his inoperable brain cancer.
“Obviously all the boys were as shocked as we were. They are gutted by the news, but they’ve been incredibly supportive,” he said.
“Jay has been round to see us a few times since we got the news and is reading up on everything he can and Max was here last week.
“Siva and Nathan obviously live a lot further away, but all four of the boys have been texting regularly and sending through different articles and possible treatments and therapies that they’re all reading about.”
Kelsey is due to give birth to their second child next month while Tom endures intensive chemotherapy and radiotherapy in a bid to shrink the mass and give him more time with his beloved family.
The first sign of trouble surfaced in July when Tom thought he’d suffered a seizure. He told OK! magazine that he’d been alone at the time so wasn’t sure.
He had a sore back and a mark on his head and felt like he was concussed, and a second trip to A&E saw him placed on the waiting list for an MRI scan.
In the meantime, Tom, Kelsey and their 15 month old daughter Aurelia headed off on holiday in Norwich but while there, he suffered a second seizure and was given an immediate MRI.
After four days of tests, Tom received the news he never imagined he’d hear, and because of Covid, he had to face it alone.
He had stage four glioblastoma – an aggressive form of brain cancer – and it was terminal.
Tom told the magazine: “They pulled the curtain around my bed and said, ‘It’s a brain tumour.’ All I could think was, ‘F*****g hell!’ I was in shock. It was a lot to deal with by myself. I still haven’t processed it.”
Kelsey added: “It was horrendous. They rang me and told me over the phone. They said, ‘It’s a tumour and it’s worst-case scenario.’ They also told us it was inoperable and what the treatment would be. I was in a complete state. My friend Kelsey was with me and she just said, ‘Don’t pass out.’ It was like everything stopped. Obviously being told you have any tumour is bad, but to be told you have the worst one is a lot to take in. All I could think was, ‘What’s going to happen and what is our life now?'”
Heartbreakingly, the condition has an average life expectancy of three months to 18 months from diagnosis.
However, Kelsey told Tom’s brother – who went in her place to the hospital – not to let the doctors tell him how long he had left because he would ‘count down the days and not live his life’.
On top of that, the couple have been in touch with numerous people who were given just months to live but are still alive five years later.