|Born||4th July 1942|
|Died||8th April 1970|
|Spouse(s)||Irma Ogden (1965)|
|Children||Darren Barlow (1968)|
|First appearance||9th December 1960|
|Last appearance||10th April 1968|
|Duration||1960-1961, 1963, 1964-1968|
|Number of appearances||252|
|Played by||Alan Rothwell|
David Barlow was the younger brother of Ken Barlow. Born in 1942, he followed quite a different career path from Ken, getting his first major break as a professional footballer for a club in London before returning to Weatherfield in 1965 and marrying Irma Ogden. After sustaining an injury which ended his football career, David bought the Coronation Street Corner Shop and ran it with Irma until 1968 when they moved to Australia so he could resume his footballing. David and Irma settled down in Australia with baby Darren but in 1970 both David and Darren were killed in a car crash.
1942-1963: Early life and football careerEdit
David was born on 4th July 1942 in Weatherfield, Greater Manchester. The Barlow family at 3 Coronation Street consisted of David, his older brother Ken, his mum Ida and his absent dad Frank, who was away fighting in World War II until 1945.
In 1961, David was an apprentice engineer but he wanted to pursue a career in football. He signed for Weatherfield County FC and in his first match he scored the only goal. He was one of the team's best players and in June a second division London team wanted to transfer David and offered £1,000 to sign him. David left Weatherfield to play for the team and didn't return until 1963, except for a brief trip up for Ida's funeral which he watched from afar. By 1963, he was quite well off financially and didn't fit in with the locals.
1964-1967: Irma and the shopEdit
He next visited over Christmas 1964 and stayed with Ken and his wife Val. He didn't tell them that he was suspended from playing for accepting a bribe, but by February was cleared. He was off the field again in April after tearing a ligament, and stayed with the Barlows so he could date Irma Ogden, who he started seeing during his previous visit. By now, Frank had moved away, and Ken was David's only family in the area. David announced he was retiring from football but took a job as player coach for Weatherfield Athletics. He was also contracted to write for a football gossip column in Weatherfield Advertiser.
Fun-loving Irma was flattered by David's interest in her and was receptive to his advances. He wanted to move the relationship to the next level and asked her to marry him when the street residents went a trip to the Blue John Mines. Irma accepted.
David had big plans for them to move to Cheshire and Irma's parents were keen for her to have a well-off lifestyle as the Ogdens had always struggled with money. Irma's parents were an old-fashioned couple and Stan Ogden hit Irma when he found David in Irma's bedroom. David convinced Irma they should marry quietly and without telling their families, but everybody found out anyway and surprised them by showing up for a reception.
While playing at a charity football match, David was injured and rushed to hospital, where he was told by the Doctor that he wouldn't be able to play football again. The newlyweds had to cancel their plans to buy a house as he couldn't continue at the club. His football career over, he considered a factory job but hesitated as it was such a step down. Irma convinced him it might be a better idea to buy the Corner Shop in Coronation Street as owner Lionel Petty was selling. At first he was too proud to accept living in Coronation Street, which caused a brief split between him and Irma. Ken's wife Val talked David round, telling him marriage is sometimes difficult and he has to put the effort in.
David had trouble getting to know the Ogdens. In 1966, Irma left the shop to work in the PVC factory across the street as shop work bored her, and David was lumbered with free-loading Hilda Ogden as shop assistant. David was never happy in the shop as it was typically where the women of the Street went to share gossip. Irma soon returned to work in the shop.
1967-1970: A new start and a tragic endEdit
Irma told David she wanted to have a baby. She got pregnant the same year, but had a miscarriage. David reminded Irma that they could try again but Irma was devastated and was convinced this meant she couldn't have children. David was fraught about how to make Irma happy, and went to an adoption agency to see if that was an option for them. David still hoped Irma would change her mind but at Christmas the couple fostered Jill Morris for a few days.
In 1968, David was rapidly growing tired of the shop, and aspired to return to football, still being young enough to have a good career ahead of him. Despite his earlier injury, he played a game, and his leg was fine. He took this as a sign that he might just be able to return to the sport full-time, for a team in Australia, but Irma was dead against it - the prospect of living somewhere where they didn't know anyone appealed to David much more than it did to Irma. However, when David was offered the position he wanted he took it and set about selling the shop. To interest potential buyers, he had an article published in the Gazette but the article made it seem as though David and Irma were emigrating because streets like Coronation Street were beneath them. Maggie Clegg eventually bought the shop.
David and his brother Ken Barlow had something in common - they both married someone who wasn't much like them at all. Ken and his wife Valerie had many more ups and downs than David and Irma, and Ken usually ignored David's advice when it was offered. As a teacher who put his principles above his family sometimes, Ken was even willing to go to prison for seven days in 1967 by joining a student demo and refusing to pay a fine after being caught by the police. David and Val considered paying the fine behind Ken's back but Val refused as it would undoubtably be a massive betrayal to Ken.
Despite their different interests the brothers got along well.
- David was godfather to Ken and Val's twins, Peter and Susan Barlow, born 1965.
- David helped out when a train crashed through the viaduct in 1967. He was the one who rescued Ena Sharples.
- David was introduced as one of the original characters in the series appearing in the first episode. It was originally intended that a female actor would be cast in the role of Ken's younger sister Enid, but it was decided to introduce a male sibling as there was already a brother/sister relationship with Linda Cheveski and her younger brother Dennis Tanner.
- After leaving the show in 1968, producers were intending to bring back David alongside his on-screen wife Irma. However, Alan Rothwell had already found work after leaving and didn't want to return, but Sandra Gough who played Irma was keen on coming back. Instead of splitting them up, David was killed off-screen alongside his son Darren, allowing Irma to return to the programme.
"'ello, Ma" (First line)
"You're the same as the Ogdens underneath and you know it. You were born 'ere, Coronation Street, a two-up, two-down terrace with a backyard and an outside lav. Our dad was a postman and our mam was a cleaner in a hotel. Not much to be proud about that, is there?" (to brother Ken)
|Ken Barlow | Frank Barlow | Ida Barlow | David Barlow | Jack Walker | Annie Walker | Elsie Tanner | Dennis Tanner | Linda Cheveski | Ivan Cheveski | Harry Hewitt | Lucille Hewitt | Concepta Riley | Ena Sharples | Minnie Caldwell | Martha Longhurst | Albert Tatlock | Christine Hardman | Florrie Lindley | Esther Hayes | Leonard Swindley|