Tom was able to join bandmates Siva Kaneswaran, Jay McGuiness, and Nathan Sykes, as well as Max, where he sat on a throne wearing dark sunglasses in front of huge audiences.
Behind-the-scenes snippets from the tour showed Max and Tom were rarely apart in his final weeks, from sharing hotel rooms to embracing on stage.
The news of Tom’s death was confirmed by his wife Kelsey on Wednesday, who said: “Our hearts are broken, Tom was the centre of our world and we can’t imagine life without his infectious smile and energetic presence.”
Max has now broken his silence to describe the ‘special chapter’ that was his friendship with Tom.
His full tribute reads: “Tom, my brother, my boy, my band mate, my best bud.. You lit up so many lives all over the world but I can only speak on behalf of mine.
“From the minute I met you, I knew this was gonna be a special chapter in my life. I was right. We did everything together, some amazing things, some outrageous things. Im so proud of what we achieved as band mates and as brothers. I’m also proud that I was there the night you met Kels. I remember saying to you, ‘you like her don’t you?’.. to which you replied, ‘bro, like you wouldn’t believe’. You two really are like peas and carrots.
“Thank you for choosing me as your friend. It was an honour from day one. I’m so grateful I was with you until the very end. The courage and dignity I have witnessed over the last few months surpassed the lion I already knew you were.
“The huge hole now left in my life will forever be there, but I know your spirit will live on through your two beautiful babies, your wonderful wife, our music, your fans and in my heart.
“I’m heartbroken beyond words right now and I cannot even begin to imagine what the future holds without you, but whatever I do going forward, even on my darkest days, I can always smile and say, ‘I shared the stage with Tom Parker’.
“I am going to miss you so much. I love you mate. Always. George.”
Featured image: Instagram, @maxgeorge
Rashford explains heartbreaking reason behind his celebration after wonder free-kick against Wales
On Tuesday night, Marcus Rashford lit up what had previously been an underwhelming final group game against Wales with what we can only describe as an absolute stunner of a free-kick.
Swapping out his usual knuckleball technique for a whipped but equally fast-paced finish into the top right corner, the 25-year-old wheeled away to celebrate with the travelling fans but not long after, he dropped to his news and pointed to the sky.
While not an entirely uncommon celebration in the world of football, it did seem like a somewhat muted reaction from the Man United forward, especially after such an incredible opening goal.
Speaking to media after the game, it turns out Rashford‘s celebration was dedicated to a close friend who passed away a couple of days prior.
As the Wythenshawe-born star went on to explain, choosing to point to the sky for the celebration was his way of paying tribute to a friend who sadly died following a long battle with cancer.
The joint-leading goalscorer this World Cup went on to say, “I’m pleased I managed to score for him, he’s always been a big supporter of mine. He’s just a great person to have come into my life”. Heartbreaking.
As confirmed by several outlets after the press conference, Rashford’s late friend was Garfield Hayward, a 35-year-old also from Manchester, who is said to have passed away last week.
Nicknamed ‘Garf’, his nephew wrote on social media: “My heart is hurting so much knowing I won’t see you again in this life… it won’t be the same without you being here… You didn’t have a bad bone in your body you would give anything and everything you could with even a single bit of hesitation.” So touching.
It was no wonder Rashford himself was so quick to go and celebrate with his loved ones after the fact.
Rashford made it three goals in as many games at Qatar 2022 following his wonderful free-kick and equally well-worked second goal, with fellow Manc Phil Foden scoring the second goal only seconds after the opener.
England now face Senegal in the Round of 16 and the way these two lads looked on the night, we expect Manchester to be putting on a show come the weekend.
TV doctor Ranj Singh calls out racist joke made at British Curry Awards ceremony
This week, the British Curry Awards held a glitzy black-tie ceremony to celebrate the achievements of the UK’s curry industry.
The prestigious ceremony, also informally known as the ‘Curry Oscars’, takes place every year – seeing a number of awards handed out to the best Asian restaurants across the country.
However, this year’s event was sullied when a white guest presenter made a racist joke on stage, asking: “Why has India never won the World Cup? Because every time they get a corner, they build a shop on it.”
Taking to Twitter after the event last night, TV Doctor and personality Ranj Singh blasted the presenter who made the joke, asking his 174,000 followers “I’m sorry but how is this OK?”
The TV Doctor then went on to release a statement, in which he first said he was “honoured and privileged to be invited as a guest” to the ceremony before continuing to outline why he was ” not the only person that felt uncomfortable tonight.”
Singh asked how the awards ceremony could truly be representing the Asian community fairly when “the host is white, the judging panel is entirely white, the performers on stage are over 90% white”, a racist joke is made on stage, and organisers were “auctioning off a piece by Winston Churchill”, whose relationship with Indian (and Bengali people specifically) is known to have been problematic.
The tweet, shared by Singh on the social media platform last night, has been liked over 1,000 times and retweeted more than 300 at the time of writing.
He then signed off for the evening, writing: “The number of people trying to justify an inappropriate and racist joke on here is saddening. But then again this is Twitter.”
Others have since taken to the platform to agree with Singh, with used David B tweeting: “I couldn’t summarise this better myself.
“The organisers did not consider that #RepresentationMatters – it felt uncomfortable to see so many white people to present, host and judge the awards when there are so many others that could have EASILY represented the community.”
Every year the awards ceremony welcomes a number of high-profile figures, including prominent personalities from the worlds of politics, sport, showbiz and entertainment alongside celebrity chefs and curry restaurant owners and their staff from across the country.
In previous years, attendees have included cricketer Azeem Rafiq, Love Island contestant Priya Gopaldas, and The Apprentice winner Sian Gabbidon.
Following the awards ceremony, organisers have said that an investigation is now under way.