The character of Roy Cropper was only introduced and expected to be a short term character in 1995. His character caught on and was kept in the show and has turned into one of the most-loved characters and is half of one of the favourite couples in the show. Roy did not have a very auspicious beginning, however. He lived alone in the top flat of a house conversion, bought by Mike Baldwin. He appeared to be somewhat creepy, drinking booze out of a paper bag and bothering Deirdre Raschid who was newly moved in to the flats as building supervisor. Roy quickly became more sympathetic, harmless but a bit of a nutter, who was awkward, shy, socially inept but basically kind.
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Over the years, Roy's background has been filled in a bit. His parents were divorced after his father had abandoned the family. The young Roy took this very hard but seems to have formed a bond with his granddad. He was a loner at school but very intelligent. He developed a love for trains and busses and could very well be called a trainspotter. There has been whispers among fans and observers of the character over the years that Roy must have Asperger's syndrome, as he seems to have obsessive compulsive tendencies and takes most things at their very literal translation, missing subtleties and nuances.
When we met Roy, he was cooking breakfasts at the Imperial Hotel, which long time Corrie fans will recognize as the same place that Ida Barlow worked in the early 60s. He helped out in Jim's Cafe on occasion and when the time came that Alma wanted to sell her share of the cafe, Roy decided to buy it. Alma didn't think he'd come up with the money but it turns out he'd squirreled away cash for years, spreading it around several different banks for safe keeping. Roy was now the major shareholder in the cafe, and renamed it Roys Rolls. He moved into the flat and he and Gail chuntered along well serving behind the counter for several years. Roy once saved up enough vouchers to provide a free trip for two to Paris, but in his generosity, gave the trip to Martin and Gail.
Roy became involved in a crusade to save the Red Rec but in 1998 his life was about to change dramatically. At the age of 44, he fell in love. He met shy and awkward Hayley Patterson who was a bit of an anorak herself. They shared many things in common, including an interest in trains and bus schedules. Roy was shocked, however, when he discovered that Hayley was a transexual. He didn't know how to handle this and backed off. Hayley went to Amsterdam for reassignment surgery and Roy remained in Weatherfield, clearly miserable. Alma pushed a little and Roy finally went after Hayley. The visit was awkward but Roy managed to convey his feelings. Hayley decided to return with him and they've been together ever since.
Roy is loyal and once he's made up his mind to be your friend, or in Hayley's case, her partner, he stands by those he cares for, unwaveringly. He is honest, possibly to a fault, and is faithful. He is determined to do the right thing and is reliable. He has employed several of the younger crowd in the cafe over the years, including Toyah Battersby and Sarah Platt. He and Hayley have often been at the pointed end of verbal barbs and have been the objects of ridicule but in spite of that, everyone knows that Roy is an upstanding and all around good man. Therefore, when it seemed that he had a drunken one night stand with evil Tracy Barlow, resulting in her pregnancy, the whole Street was shocked. This incident nearly destroyed Roy who felt his integrity and reputation were irreparably damaged. Hayley had left him and he felt he had nothing to live for. Luckily, Hayley returned to the flat and rescued Roy from an overdose and stood by him.
They decided to adopt Tracy's baby and paid her good money for it. Roy and Hayley had long desired to be parents. Initially, Roy was reluctant to be a parent, having had no good example and miserable memories of his own childhood but with Hayley at his side, he realized he had a lot to offer a child. They had fostered several children including Fiz Brown but got tangled up in well-meaning problems of one young lad and after running away with him, the trouble they got into as a result closed the door on any future possibility of fostering and probably adoption. This could be their only chance to be parents. They knew that Tracy would be less than a stellar mother, Roy even went through with a sham marriage to Tracy so that he would have legal rights to the child but Roy and Hayley were devastated when the truth came out and the father of the baby was proven to be Steve McDonald.
When Hayley discovered that she had an adult son from a very brief attempt at normality when she was still Harold, Roy was unsure how to handle the news. Hayley had told him she'd been a virgin and when Christian came into her life, she kept it a secret. Honesty being extremely important to Roy, he couldn't seem to accept Hayley's actions and nearly lost her as a result of his misplaced sense of seeing everything in "black or white". His love for Hayley has allowed him to bend and before Hayley left to do charitable work in Africa, they reconciled their differences. Roy is now holding down the fort at the cafe and missing his Hayley.
Roy blossomed under the love of a good woman and slowly over the years, the cafe decor has become a tribute to his love of trains. He's still being an advisor for young lads, Chesney Battersby Brown being the most recent. His and Hayley's faith in Becky has helped her turn her life around. He hasn't lost his integrity, and still has moments where he seems totally flummoxed by others' emotions and actions. He has touched many lives and made them better for it. Long may Roy reign over his rolls!