Played by: Julie
First appeared: 26 January 1998
Hayley's parents had divorced when she was 14. Her mother walked out on them, leaving Hayley to be cared for by her father. Following an accident, Hayley became home carer for her father and so did not get out too much. When he was taken on by a care home, Hayley was able at last to get out and about, and got a job working as a Supervisor at Firman's Freezers. Her sheltered upbringing had left her timid and shy and little mousy in appearance. Alma Baldwin gave her moral support when Curly Watts picked on her one day for being too unassertive, and she quickly latched onto Alma with a bit of heroine worship, to Alma's discomfort. Tragedy struck when she was told at the beginning of February 1998 that her father had died at the home. Alma took pity and invited her to stay for a night at her place. Keen to avoid being clung to, she was determined to pair Hayley off with a boyfriend and so hosted a party to try and get her and Curly together. After this abortive attempt, Hayley struck up a friendship with Roy Cropper, and it was clear these two had a chemistry together. Meetings and dates followed and they became quite close; it was obviously a first relationship for both of them. After a romantic meal at the cafe one night, Hayley decided to trust Roy with her greatest secret. She was a transsexual, born a male.
Although for the most part she looked like a normal woman, she was not. She still had to undergo the final operation that would transform her into a complete physical female. Roy was initially horrified and rejected Hayley for a while. Distressed at her rejection, Hayley confided in her only other close friend, Alma, who was sympathetic and understanding and eventually she spoke to Roy about Hayley, who admitted he had acted rashly, and missed her. He apologised and made up with Hayley and they became friends again, but the uncomfortable Roy did not allow it to progress beyond that, despite Hayley's attraction to Roy. After a while their relationship relaxed but soon, Hayley discovered that her father had left her a sizable amount of money... tens of thousands! She decided to fulfill her dream and go abroad for the final part of her treatment, the operation. In a touching farewell scene, they said their goodbyes, and Roy gave Hayley a book about "Automotive Engines", but inside was a beautiful silver locket; a token of his true feelings. Hayley was speechless with emotion and said a tearful farewell.
After her operation, she rented a room on a houseboat in Amsterdam, to recuperate, and wrote Roy a letter. Shortly afterwards she was delighted to find him unexpectedly on her doorstep. After spending a few days together, unsuccessfully trying to find out how they felt about each other, Hayley finally got a sign from Roy that he really cared a great deal for her, when he left behind an engraved watch as a present. As a result, she caught him at the airport and accompanied him back to Weatherfield, to Roy's delight.
After successfully getting a job at Underworld on her return
(by showing Mike Baldwin her remarkable
skills as a seamstress), she was pleased to finally be "one
of the girls", but her happiness was short-lived when, whilst
discussing a confusion by the DSS over Hayley's name, Alma accidently
told Mike about Hayley's past. He was appalled and unable to come
to terms with it, and so fired Hayley. When threatened by a possible
strike by the factory girls, and constant hostility from Alma
over the issue, he relented and rehired her.
Unhappy with living at her father's old house, she sought new accomodation, with little success. After giving out some pretty clear signals, Roy finally got the hint and asked her to move in with him above the cafe, to her delight. Roy attempted to propose to her shortly after, but Hayley had to unwillingly, and tearfully, decline, due to the British legal system not allowing TS marriages. A few days later, and after some inevitable prevarication, Roy and Hayley finally sealed their relationship and became a "proper" couple!
Unfortunately, Mike Baldwin was not so happy at the news of Roy and Hayley's togetherness and intensified his mickey-taking. Roy, pushed to the very limit by Mike's crude and insulting behavior towards Hayley, drenched him with a pint of beer in front of everyone at the Rovers! This had the result of angering Mike further, and making him even more determined to continue his bad treatment of Hayley, by constantly threatening to tell her workmates about her past.
In an act of great bravery, but, in hindsight, rashness, Hayley called Mike's bluff in front of the factory girls and told them her secret herself. It spread around the Street very quickly and for a week, she was the Next Big Scandal. Reaction was varied, ranging from laughter to disgust. One of the factory girls was positively vile to Hayley, but although still tempted to make a joke at her expense, most of the others were quite tolerant and supportive. In the midst of the storm, she realised her mistake, and threatened to leave Weatherfield forever, to start again. But Roy, terrified of losing the woman he loved, pleaded with her to stay, and promised to stand by her. Happy to stay with Roy, she rescued her reputation in the eyes of the Street residents later that week by saving Natalie's wedding dress and decorating the wedding marquee beautifully.
In November 1998, Roy and Hayley decided to take night classes, and tried Spanish, Life Art (with Nick Tilsley as a model!) and amateur dramatics. As a result, Hayley was accepted as a member of the Weatherfield Operatic Society and given the part of Mother Superior in "The Sound of Music".
As their first Christmas together approached, she told a disappointed Roy that she had to spend Christmas Day with her lonely Aunty Monica, so they had their Christmas dinner five days early and toasted to their future happiness.
The end of an eventful 1998 saw Hayley buy Gail Platt's share in the cafe and become Roy's sleeping partner in the business, leaving the way clear for Roy to pursue his dream of new premises.
Progress was made on Roy's new venture in January 1999, and Hayley was on hand to help with the planning. She was also put in charge of organising the festivities for Underworld's upcoming Valentine's Day bash; a 70's fancy dress disco! At this time, she became suspicious of Roy after seeing him sneak into someone else's house. It turns out he was taking dancing lessons for the disco, but Hayley was still unsure and followed him once more. Roy discovered her looking through the window, and an argument about trust within relationships ensued. At the Valentines Disco, Hayley's planning and decoration was a total success, but she and Roy were still not speaking. Alma intervened and later in the evening, Roy arrived at the disco, dressed as John Travolta and swept her off her feet, dancing beautifully. At the end of the night, he proposed to Hayley, determined to marry her somehow, somewhere. She excitedly accepted!The news was received by the Street residents with mixed emotions, and when they went to see a vicar, he refused to marry them, quoting the bible. Hayley was bitter, and Roy was disappointed but he was still determined to find a way.
The new cafe was almost ready, and Roy's Rolls, nee Dawson's, nee Jim's cafe, was formally closed by Gail, Audrey, Alma, Roy and Hayley on the 19 February 1999.
The new cafe on Victoria Street was ready to open, but Hayley caught her tights on a loose nail sticking out of a skirting board as she was about to leave. She pulled out the nail, but after she had left this led to a gush of water which soaked the cafe, and delayed it's opening. The new Roy's Rolls opened for business on the 26 February and was a roaring success.
The couple's wedding plans took a step forward when they met Jessica Lundy, the lady curate for St Paul's, and after some deliberation, she agreed to marry them. Roy and Hayley made their plans, with only three weeks in hand. Hayley asked Toyah Battersby and Sarah-Louise Platt to be her bridesmaids, Alma to be her Matron of Honour, and then set about designing and making her own wedding dress. With time running out, Hayley realised that she was not going to be able to make the train for the wedding dress, but was surprised and touched when she found out that the factory girls had secretly made one for her and presented it to her at her hen party (at the Battersby's!).
They made it to the church on the 21 April, only to be foiled by Les Battersby, who had tipped off the press and was keen to see the wedding plastered over the papers. A distraught Roy and Hayley returned to the cafe, thinking the ceremony a washout. Hayley was truly devastated, but was surprised by Roy when she came down from the cafe flat to find the cafe full of her friends and family and Jessica ready to perform the ceremony! Her Great Uncle Bert was on hand to give the bride away. During the reception, Hayley revealed to Roy she had changed her name by Deed Poll and was now Hayley Cropper.
Mr and Mrs Cropper left for their honeymoon in York (home of the railway museums!), amidst much jubilation and happiness.
After a quiet summer, Hayley caught Mike Baldwin and Linda Sykes togther in the Underworld office, and was then put into the dilemma of whether to tell her good friend Alma, or to do as she would be done by and keep quiet. In the end Alma found out he was seeing someone and Hayley told her it was Linda.
Also in October, the Croppers joined the Weatherfield First Aiders and allowed them to use the Cafe as their meeting place for a few weeks. Their new training came into action at the Freshco-sponsored Bonfire Night on the Red Rec, when the main Freshco rocket landed on the roof of the First-Aid tent. Roy and Hayley managed to pull Lester, the first-aid trainer and Audrey Roberts to safety when the tent caught fire.
To celebrate Millennium night, the Underworld girls dressed up and did a musical number as "Fabba", featuring Hayley, Deirdre, Linda and Janice.
In March 2000, a local builder, Stuart, took a shine to Hayley and flirted with her for a while. A week later, Les Battersby told Stuart about Hayley's past, leading Stuart to confront her in the cafe and insult both her and Roy.
In April, she acted as negotiator during a short strike by the Underworld machinists, and was subsequently promoted to supervisor. Also this month, Hayley and Sarah Platt became closer, during Sarah's pregnancy. Hayley was getting broodier and, unable to do anything about it, enjoyed helping Sarah when she could.
August 2000 saw the christening of Sarah's daughter, Bethany. Sarah asks Hayley to be godmother, which she delightedly accepts. Later, in the ceremony, Roy stands in as godfather in place of a missing David Platt.
September 2000, and Hayley finally broaches the subject of children with Roy, and suggests adoption. He isn't sure, and initially dismisses the idea as impossible. Discussions and arguements follow, until Roy admits his reluctance was his fear of seeing Hayley hurt if she was rejected by the adoption board. He then admits that he, too, would love children and they agree to investigate the matter officially. This major storyline continues through October and November, with The Croppers applying to become adoptive parents, undergoing interviews, attending group meetings and finally, after much soul-searching, and prompted by Roy's preferance, deciding that fostering would perhaps be the best option for them.
They undergo one of the hardest tests of their relationship, when, during one of their fostering interviews, Roy tells the social worker that he can't see Hayley as a woman. This leads to a rift between the pair, with Roy trying to explain what he meant, and Hayley feeling insulted and hurt. They work it out a week later and settle down to a quiet Christmas.
They don't get one. A young boy, Wayne, is found stealing food from the cafe and on his return, is later looked after by Roy and Hayley over Xmas until the childrens home collect him. A quick and sincere bond grows between the three, but Wayne is eventually fostered out to an experienced family.
At the end of January 2001, Roy and Hayley are finally approved as foster parents, and a few weeks later get a call to expect their first foster child; a teenage girl called Jackie Mosely, whose mother is in hospital for a short time, who stays for two weeks and is very little trouble to the delighted, and a little over-eager, Croppers. Jackie returns to her mum, leaving an emotional Roy and Hayley. Their first fostering duty a success.