Neighbours of union leader Bob Crow have described him as ‘quiet and reserved’ away from the spotlight.

Mr Crow, the general secretary of the Rail Maritime and Transport union (RMT), died from a heart attack yesterday morning.

He was known as an combative advocate of workers’ rights and a tough negotiator with many critics and adversaries across the political spectrum.

But neighbours in Ray Lodge Estate, Woodford, said they saw a different side to him.

Etornam Metsiwodzi, 20, said: "He was a quiet and reserved man - really nice and polite.

“He was a good man and a good neighbour, always speaking to people and never discriminating against anyone."

Jack Bawdan, 20, said: "I am not too sure I agree with his views and the salary he was on while living in a council house. But I understand his socialist views and he never imposed them on anyone else in the estate. He was always very quiet and nice to his neighbours and we never had an issue."

Mr Crow died at Whipps Cross Hospital in Leytonstone at the age of 52.

He leaves behind his long-term partner Nicola Hoarau and four children.