ESSEX is well-known for many things but something people may not know is the wealth of sporting talent from today or years gone by.

The county has produced some of the finest sportsmen and women in England.

Here we've compiled some Essex stars you might not know are from the area.

Fatima Whitbread

Fatima, who was brought up in places like South Ockendon, Grays and Chadwell St Mary, is one of Britain's greatest ever olympians.

Gazette: Fatima Whitbread (Steve Brading)Fatima Whitbread (Steve Brading)

A Javelin thrower, Fatima has won numerous gold medals including gold at the 1986 European Championships in Stuttgart as well as two Olympic medals.

She is perhaps best known by younger generations for her stint on I'm a Celebrity back in 2011.

Alastair Cook

One of Essex's most successful sportsmen is Alastair Cook who was raised in Wickham Bishops near Witham.

Gazette: Alastair CookAlastair Cook

The cricketer was formerly the England team captain and currently plays for the Essex County Cricket Club.

As a boy, Alastair would play for his nearby team, the Maldon Cricket Club.

Bobby George

A legend in the sport of darts, Bobby George born in Manor Park, London but used to live in Ardleigh near Colchester.

Gazette: Bobby George (Steve Brading)Bobby George (Steve Brading)

Bobby Dazzler has been presenting on our screens since 1998 but also won countless tournaments and championships in darts.

Ronnie O'Sullivan

While born in the Midlands, Ronnie O'Sullivan was raised in Chigwell and still lives there to this day.

Gazette: Ronnie O'SullivanRonnie O'Sullivan

The snooker player is sometimes regarded as one of the greatest players ever to pick up a cue.

He is a six time world champion, a record seven-time Masters champion, and a record seven-time UK champion.

He is also he is the most successful player in the history of snooker's Triple Crown Series, with a record 20 titles.

Sally Gunnell

An Olympic gold medalist, Sally Gunnell was born in Chigwell.

She was a track and field athlete and is the only female British athlete to have won Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth titles.

Gazette: Sally GunnellSally Gunnell

She was also the first female 400 metres hurdler in history to win the Olympic and World titles and break the world record.

Despite breaking the record in 1993, she still ranks in the world all-time top ten and is the current British record.

She was also made an OBE in 1998.

Sam Byram

Currently playing for Norwich City as a right-back, footballer Sam Byram was born in Thurrock.

He has had stints at Leeds United and West Ham United.