A widow has paid tribute to her fundraising husband who helped her foster more than 80 children.

Anthony Root, of Bond Street, Stratford, died on January 24 aged 82, from motor-neurone disease.

He and his wife, Kathleen, 79, were foster parents to more than 80 children in the 1960s and 1970s as Anthony raised money for the RNLI at St Andrew's Church in St Andrew's Road, Leytonstone.

Kathleen, who lived in Stratford with her husband, said: "Tony was in the air force for two years, while he did his national service, between 1948 and 1950.

"When he was a boy of 13, he'd joined the air cadets."

As an adult, he was a civilian training officer at an air cadets' in East Ham and at the 12F Walthamstow and Leyton Squadron in Whipps Cross.

Kathleen: "As a child, he used to fly model aeroplanes on Wanstead Flats and model boats on the lake. He loved a manly life.

"He was very supportive of the fostering and a totally supportive father.

"He was a huge man - terribly well-built and loved his food."

His father was in the merchant navy and Andrew would also fundraise at events around Waltham Forest, with Jean Flanders, a member of the Leytonstone church.