The late Wanted star's memoir reveals that Ed Sheeran generously helped to pay for his cancer treatment

Tom Parker, who died from brain cancer, revealed how the singer helped to pay for his private treatment

Tom Parker and Ed Sheeran in 2013
(Image credit: Dave M. Benett/Getty Images)

Ed Sheeran wrote a heartfelt tribute to Tom Parker in March when he passed away from incurable brain cancer - and now it's been revealed that he also helped to pay for his cancer treatment.

The singer, who was friends with Tom, declared it was a 'sad day' when he heard of his friend passing away. Ed Sheeran, who is due to appear at the Queen's Platinum Jubilee concert, was one of the first celebrities to pay tribute to his friend, posting a picture of him on Instagram and writing, "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 x".

However, Tom's memoir, called Hope, reveals that the Shape of You singer helped to pay for the private treatment, while the late boyband member also called him a 'special man'. 

Tom explained in his memoir, of which an extract has been printed in The Sun, "Pretty much from the moment I was diagnosed, Ed Sheeran reached out to me with an offer to do anything he could to help. Ed and I have known each other since he joined The Wanted on our tour bus during a promotion trip in America more than ten years ago."

Tom then went on to divulge, "I’ve never publicly said this before (and he’ll probably be mad that I’m doing it now) but Ed is a very special man — he even helped out with my medical bills when I was seeking other treatment options and having private immunotherapy."

Tom Parker, best known as a member of the band The Wanted, was diagnosed with stage 4 glioblastoma and revealed his diagnosis in October 2020. The singer passed away from brain cancer at the age of 33 on March 30, 2022. 

His widow, Kelsey Parker announced his passing on social media and 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." 

Following this devastating announcement, celebrities who knew Tom shared their grief online. Liam Payne from One Direction also shared his grief on social media, writing, "I'm heartbroken to hear about Tom. 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."

Boyband JLS from X Factor fame also shared a message that said, "Our thoughts and prayers go out to Tom Parker, all his family, friends and bandmates. He fought a brave fight and left a legacy and lasting inspirational impression that will be remembered by us all, including his fans and loved ones."

Sarah Finley

Sarah is a freelance journalist - writing about the royals and celebrities for Woman & Home, fitness and beauty for the Evening Standard and how the world of work has changed due to the pandemic for the BBC. 


She also covers a variety of other subjects and loves interviewing leaders and innovators in the beauty, travel and wellness worlds for numerous UK and overseas publications. 


As a journalist, she has written thousands of profile pieces - interviewing CEOs, real-life case studies and celebrities - interviewing everyone from Emma Bunton to the founder of Headspace.