Friends, family and fans of The Wanted star, Tom Parker, gathered in Bolton today on a charity ‘Walk for Hope’ to mark the star’s 34th birthday.
Tom, originally from Tonge Moor, died earlier this year at 33 years old, just 17 months after he was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour
Today, many lined the streets, walking to three locations that were of significance to the singer.
His mum, Noreen Parker, lead the parade.
She said: “We are doing a walk for Tom because it is his birthday on Thursday, and we wanted to do something to remember it.
“We thought of doing a walk just for people who couldn’t attend the funeral and it was meant to be just friends and family but, as you can see, it has snowballed into something much bigger.
“We started off at St Brendan’s RC Primary School, then Tonge Park and our final stop will be The Swan.
“We will be finishing there and doing karaoke because that is where he started his singing career.
“He won a competition when he was 16 there and someone in the audience, from a Take That tribute band spotted him and told him to give them a ring.
“He did that for two years before he went into The Wanted.”
The early morning cleared and the sun came out for the family and friends doing the walk with music by The Wanted playing.
Noreen added: “Were using today to raise money for Ahead of the Game, which was such a massive help to Tom when he was sick.
“We have raised £5,000 so far and that is without our sponsors so hopefully we will be getting a lot more.
“At the start, we didn’t even think we could get £1,000 so we are very happy at the moment but would appreciate it if everyone continues to contribute.”
Once the walkers reached The Swan for a well-deserved pint, karaoke kicked off with Tom’s dad, Nigel, singing his rendition of ‘I Just can’t help believin’’ by Elvis.
Screens around the pub and a photo board showed snapshots of Tom’s life, from his first day at primary school to The Wanted, then marriage and children.
The proceeds from the walk will go to Ahead of the Game, which attempts to bridge the gap in the NHS and provide free rehabilitation to those diagnosed with cancer.