A world champion from Chadwell
Fatima Whitbread was adopted in her teens by the Whitbread family who lived in Chadwell. She had previously spent much of her life in children’s homes. Margaret Whitbread was a javelin coach who had spotted Fatima’s talent and encouraged her in the sport.
Fatima set a world record at the European Championship in 1986 and in 1987 she became world champion. Despite being injured, she won a silver medal at the 1988 Olympic Games.
In 2011, she appeared on I’m a celebrity, get me out of here, finishing 3rd.