A businessman and father-of-two who died from a brain tumour has been remembered at a research centre where scientists are focused on finding a cure for the disease.

Gary Phillips, from Benfleet, was 44 when he died in January.

After his diagnosis, Gary, alongside his family and friends, started fundraising for pioneering immunotherapy, something that wasn’t available through the NHS.

Gary sadly died before he could undergo treatment so the money they raised has been donated to national charity Brain Tumour Research.

Gary’s parents, Dave and Dianne Phillips, and other close relatives travelled to London on Wednesday to place a tile on the Wall of Hope at the Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence at Queen Mary University of London.

Each tile represents the £2,740 it costs to fund a day of research.

The scientists at Queen Mary University Hospital are improving treatments and patients and, ultimately, finding a cure for brain tumours.

Dave said: “We were fundraising in the hope that Gary would be treated but, sadly, this was not the case. It is comforting to think that now the money will be used to fund research into this dreadful disease. It is too late for us but we hope it will help others.”

The family was given a tour of the lab where scientists, led by Professor Silvia Marino, are researching the causes of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most aggressive and common type of brain tumour.

Carol Robertson, head of community fundraising for Brain Tumour Research, said: “We are extremely grateful to Gary’s family for their support. Sadly, they are not alone as brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer. Yet just one per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.”

Brain Tumour Research is campaigning to increase the national spend on cancer research to £35million. Gary ran air conditioning company Phillips Refrigeration, based in Clarence Close, Benfleet.

He was born in Pitsea where he attended St Margaret’s Primary School before moving to Benfleet and studied at King John School. Gary left behind two children, Alex, 19, and Leah, 17.