TRIBUTES have been paid to a mum who spent 28 years married to a man she met through the Daily Echo's Lonely Hearts column in 1992.

Cheryl Robinson, from Hollybrook in Southampton, died of natural causes after suffering with a muscular injury, brittle bones and a heart condition for years.

After seeing Cheryl's advert in the paper's first Heartline page 28 years ago, her now-husband Keith had responded by writing her a letter.

Their daughter Sophie, 26, has now paid tribute to her "adored and most caring" mother.

She said: "Mum was part of a very entwined Romany gypsy family - the Penfolds and the Thompsons. Her life began in York Road, Southampton, May 23 1957.

"Such a loved child who grew to be the most caring and kindest person anyone knew - like her mother and grandmother.

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"Her childhood was filled with many memories with her brother Ian and cousin Andrew. My grandparents put 100 per cent into their children which gave Mum the values she instilled into her children.

"Mum's caring nature led her into a career in caring which she did until a muscular injury made her have to give up. Firstly at Nazareth's House, as a carer to an elderly care home. It was her time here that defined my mum's traits that she carried into later life.

"When mum was 30, she had my sister Sarah whom she raised as a single parent.

"In June 1992, mum became part of the first Lonely Hearts column with the Daily Echo and was matched with my dad. Their first date was at Antonio's in Netley and it was from here the relationship flourished.

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Cheryl and Keith's wedding 28 years ago

"During those 28 years, I grew up alongside my sister with parents who did nothing but love and trust each other.

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Cheryl and Keith with their children in 1992

"Even throughout mum's deteriorating health, Dad always doted on mum - they were inseparable.

"It was on March 28 that my Dad found Mum peacefully asleep with a big smile on her face at 1am. She was at last pain-free.

"Every time I look at myself I am reminded of the greatest woman I will ever know. My mum will always live on through me and her future grandchildren.

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Keith and Cheryl at Sophie's graduation

"The kindest, most caring, loyal and adored person, asleep forever. I have the Echo to thank for this and in some ways my life. For from the first date to their final kiss, the love they had for each other will never die."

Keith said: "When we first met through the Daily Echo, things moved very fast. We were soon married and this was followed by an addition in our families in the way of Sophie.

"People said it wouldn't last, but this relationship was powered by love and trust right to the end. It was this fantastic 28-year memory that I will take with me going forward and will keep me going during the dark days. Because after 28 years of such memories, there will be dark days."

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Another image of Keith and Cheryl's wedding