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Staffordshire Day: The county's most famous homegrown talent

Staffordshire | News | Published:

From sporting heroes to musical legends Staffordshire has been home to some of the most recognisable people in the world.

The county is already rich in historical figures including the likes of potter manufacturer and abolitionist Josiah Wedgwood to Lord of the Rings creator JRR Tolkien who lived in and around Stafford once upon a time.

But what about the famous faces of today and the recent past that are helping to keep Staffordshire on the map?

Robbie Williams - one of the best selling solo artists of all time

Well maverick singer Robbie Williams, who is one of the best selling solo artists of all time having shifted more than 75 million records, was of course born and bred in Stoke-on-Trent.

The former Take That member rocketed to stardom following his shock departure from the group in 1995 carving an even bigger career for himself as a solo singer songwriter.

A catalogue of hit records such as Angels have made Williams a timeless superstar.

Iconic heavy metal star Ian 'Lemmy' Kilmister fronted Motorhead and died in December

At the opposite end of the musical spectrum Stoke can also be thanked for heavy metal icon 'Lemmy' the notorious frontman of Motorhead.

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Equally renowned for his hard-lifestyle of drinking Ian Kilmister was a the embodiment of a rock and roll star and his unexpected death in December, aged 70, provoked tributes from some of the biggest names in music.

Guns N'Roses lead guitarist Slash grew up in Stoke

Guns N'Roses lead guitarist Slash is another to grow up in the county having been raised in Stoke.

While Cannock has also produced its own rock heavyweight in Glenn Hughes, the musician best known for his time as bassist with Deep Purple from 1973.

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Hughes also fronted local supergroup Black Country Communion, which he announced would be making a comeback next year, while earlier this month - April — he and fellow Deep Purple bandmates were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Glenn Hughes - Deep Purple bassist and Communion frontman

On the sporting stage Staffordshire has produced some true greats.

Again the north of the county can claim some undisputed legends no-one more so than Sir Stanley Matthews.

The 'outside right' who spent most of his playing days at Stoke was revered for his dribbling skills and was the first winner of the prestigious Ballon d'Or European Footballer of the Year award in 1956.

Sir Stanley Matthews at Wembley doing what he did best - dribbling with a football

Two years after his death in 2000 he was one of the first to be inducted in the English Football Hall of Fame.

Another hailing from the same part of the world is Phil Taylor who is widely regarded as the greatest darts player of all time having won 16 world championships.

Phil 'The Power' Taylor - The greatest darts player of all time ?

The Power, as he is known, is still at the top of his game at 55 having been at the forefront of the revolution of the sport as it has become one of the fastest growing in the last decade.

Back to the football pitch and Cannock's own local hero is Stan Collymore who was born in Stone but came to grow up in the town.

The former Aston Villa man now turned outspoken radio pundit for TalkSport has played for a host of Midlands teams including his beloved Villains as well as Stafford Rangers, not to mention Walsall and Wolves in his young days.

But Collymore's career was somewhat blighted following his fiery relationship with TV presenter Ulrika Johnson which was laid bare in the public.

Recently the 45-year-old threw his weight behind a campaign to save local Cannock pub the Pied Piper.

Dragons' Den star Sarah Willingham has thrown her weight behind Staffordshire Day

Turning to TV and drama the county can boast a similarly impressive list of personalities many of whom told the Express & Star what their favourites things are about their homeland ahead of Staffordshire Day.

Dragon's Den's entrepreneur Sarah Willingham said: "The people! Open warm lovely people...and of course the oatcakes!"

While former GMTV host Anthea Turner also declared her love for Staffordshire Oatcakes.

And Cannock-bred comedian and actor Steve Edge who has featured in Peep Show and Peter Kay's Phoenix Nights said: "Being a Cannock lad it's Cannock Chase and the German War Cemetery which floored an 11-year-old old me when I discovered it on my BMX."

Away from the limelight Staffordshire can also boast the likes of businessman and philanthropist John Caudwell who co-founded Phones 4u and who has done extensive charity work to improve the lives of children in the county.

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