You’ll be surprised as to how many famous people have links to the city of Stoke-On-Trent. Whether they were born and raised in the city or called Stoke home for a few years of their life.
The relatively small city has been home to a wide variety of well-known people throughout the years. Knowing you are walking the same streets as some familiar faces may help you feel more at home in your University’s city.
Alternatively, it makes a great conversation starter on freshers week or if you are ever in need of some Stoke-On-Trent knowledge at your local’s pub quiz.
Robbie Williams – Singer
Arguably the most prominent figure to emerge from Stoke-On-Trent, Robbie Williams grew up in Burslem before skyrocketing to fame in the 90’s boyband Take That.
He talks fondly of the city regularly during interviews and has most recently helped to design the kit for his local team, Port Vale.
The pub in which he grew up lies vacant on Burslem’s high street, yet has a touching tribute to the star and his legacy.
Denise Coates – Bet365 CEO
Named the UK’s second wealthiest woman in 2020, Denise Coates currently has a net worth of $6.5 billion thanks to her gambling business Bet365.
Although only the second wealthiest woman, Coates became the highest-paid British CEO in 2019 after paying herself a whopping $423 million.
Bet365’s HQ is set up on the Festival Park site and can be seen as you leave the A500 towards Hanley. She is adamant that the Head Quarters is kept in her hometown of Stoke and aims to recruit local people as a way to give back to the city.
Wes Nelson – Love Island Star
Wes Nelson shot to fame on ITV’s ‘Love Island’ in 2018 and has since gone on to be a successful TV personality and musician.
The star was born and raised in Newcastle-Under-Lyme before moving down south after his success on multiple reality shows.
After showing off his singing abilities on ‘X Factor: Celebrity’ in 2019, Wes has had success with songs such as ‘See Nobody’ which hit the UK’s #1 spot in 2020.
Rachel Shenton – Actress
Academy award-winning actress Rachel Shenton may not be a household name yet but she certainly is in Stoke.
You may have seen her as Mitzee Minniver in TV soap ‘Hollyoaks’ or in Oscar award-winning film ‘The Silent Child’.
Sir Stanley Matthews – Footballer
Stoke has a great history with football, with the wizard of the wing being born in the city. If you wander around you are sure to see statues of the footballing legend as well as streets and buildings named after him.
He is often regarded as one of the best players in the game, as he famously played for England and his home club Stoke City.
Sir Stanley was born and raised in Stoke and eventually died in the neighbouring town of Newcastle-Under-Lyme in 2000.
Giles Wood – Gogglebox Star
After 2020 we thought we would be immune to surprises, however, 2021 uncovered that posh boy Giles Wood is actually from Stoke-On-Trent.
Well-known for his appearance on Channel 4’s Gogglebox, it has always been assumed that he grew up near his residence in Wiltshire.
He may lack the accent, but if you watch the show carefully you might hear him talk about the city and his experience living here.
Eddie Hall – World’s Strongest Man
The former professional strongman was born in the bordering town of Newcastle-Under-Lyme and is often spotted in and around the city.
On top of winning the world’s strongest man competition in 2017, Eddie has made a name for himself as a TV personality starring in shows such as ‘Eddie Eats America’.
Sir Reginald Mitchell – Inventor of the Spitfire
Credited as the inventor of the WW2 fighter plane the spitfire, Sir Reginald Mitchell has become Stoke’s war hero.
If you have enrolled for a history degree I’m sure your lecturer will name drop him at some point during your studies. It’s a right of passage for all history-loving stokies.
Similar to Sir Stanley Matthews, there are many nods to Sir Reginald Mitchell around Stoke, with Hanley’s Wetherspoons being named after him.
Phil Taylor – Darts Player
Another famous face to emerge from Burslem, is Phil ‘the power’ Taylor. He has secured wins on 214 professional tournaments, with 85 major titles and 16 world championships.
The dartsmen is considered one if the best, if not the best, darts player of all time.
Stoke has produced multiple professional darts players, with the city being known as the unofficial darting capital of the world.
We could go on forever and talk about the famous faces of Stoke, but we don’t want to bore you.
Here are some honourable mentions that didn’t make the shortlist:
- Edward Smith – Captain of the Titanic
- Lemmy – Frontman of Motorhead
- Gordon Banks – Footballer
- Eric Bristow – Darts Player
- Slash – Frontman of Guns’n’Roses
- John Caudwell – Founder of Phones4u
- Arnold Bennett – Novelist
- Curtis & AJ Pritchard – TV personalities
- Anthea Turner – Radio and TV host