|Occupation||Former Factory Supervisor|
|Residence||16a Victoria Street|
|Spouse(s)||Roy Cropper (2010)|
|First appearance||26th January 1998|
|Duration||1998-2007, 2008 to present|
|Number of appearances||1405 (as of Episode 8268)|
|Played by||Julie Hesmondhalgh|
Hayley Anne Cropper (née Patterson), previously Harold Patterson is played by actress Julie Hesmondhalgh. She first appeared on the show in January 1998 as the first transsexual character in a British soap and was the first permanent transsexual character in the world of serialised drama.
Hayley's mum walked out on her and her father when she was 14. Sometime later her father had an accident and she became his carer. Her father passed away on 1st February 1998. She was originally introduced as Hayley Patterson, a shy shop supervisor at Firman's Freezers. Mutual friend Alma Baldwin introduced her to Roy, the slightly odd owner of Roy's Rolls, a greasy spoon café. They formed a strong friendship — until Hayley revealed she was a pre-operative transsexual woman. Upon learning this, Roy was unable to handle the situation, and initially rejected her. He later relented, accepting that their friendship was more important than Hayley's secret. After affirming their mutual attraction, Hayley left Weatherfield for Amsterdam to have private sex reassignment surgery. They later reconciled. After she returned to Weatherfield she became a machinist in Mike Baldwin's lingerie factory Underworld.
Hayley's only romantic relationship in the soap has been with Roy Cropper. The characters were first friends and they started embarking on a relationship, until Hayley revealed her true identity. After initially rejecting Hayley it wasn't until three months later when he began to miss her, Roy followed her to Amsterdam where she was living on a houseboat. He persuaded her that they should work on their relationship so she returned to Weatherfield where she became a machinist in Mike Baldwin's lingerie factory the owner at the time, Underworld. Roy later proposed to Hayley at a fancy-dress disco on St. Valentine's Day 1999. At that time, unfortunately, they could not legally marry, since Hayley was still seen as a male in the eyes of the law. Eventually they found a female vicar who would help the couple, and they were finally united in a blessing ceremony held in Roy's Rolls. As a wedding present to Roy, Hayley officially changed her name by deed poll to Hayley Cropper. Although it has been possible, since 2004, for trans people to change their birth certificates and marry legally, Roy and Hayley have not yet, to public knowledge, taken advantage of this change in the law. Their relationship has been put to the test by various storylines including Tracy Barlow's deceit, Hayley's secret son and the character's year absence from screen where a storyline was revealed that she had been fantasising about another man. (further reading below) They eventually worked out their differences.
Hayley, in a bid for privacy, had chosen not to disclose her transsexual status, but this was revealed when Baldwin discovered a Tax Office error, showing she was still registered in her original birth name, Harold. Baldwin enjoyed having dirt on her and attempted to blackmail Hayley, however when it started to go too far she told everyone anyway. Baldwin sacked Hayley and the factory staff and the majority of the residents in the Street taunted her for being transsexual, while Toyah Battersby was the only person (other than Roy and Alma who already knew) who offered her support. Hayley eventually got her job back, and most of the Street characters gradually accepted her.
Later as a storyline for the couple Roy and Hayley fostered a couple of children (including Fiz Brown, who later returned to the Street after moving out of Roy and Hayley's home), but have not had any children placed with them after they ran away with a young boy, Wayne Hayes, in an attempt to protect him from his abusive stepfather. This led to them being arrested and to Hayley's imprisonment because of court complications, though in the end she was released when Wayne's family circumstances became clear. This situation has prevented Roy and Hayley from having any further foster children placed in their care.
In 2003, while Hayley was away from Weatherfield nursing her ill aunt, scheming Tracy Barlow bet one penny that she could bed the man supposedly least likely to be unfaithful; Roy! Despite the extremely unlikely pairing, Tracy got Roy drunk, slipped Rohypnol into his drink, took him home and pretended to have slept with him. Roy was desperate to keep the news from Hayley but broke down and admitted everything. Hayley was devastated, and initially intended to leave Roy and the Street. However, when Roy then attempted suicide, Hayley decided she couldn't leave with Roy in this state, but this placed a huge strain on her marriage as Hayley struggled to forgive Roy for both his supposed infidelity and his suicide attempt. Upon confronting Tracy, the Croppers were stunned when Tracy revealed that she was pregnant with Roy's unborn baby. As Tracy revealed her plans to abort the child as soon as possible if the couple didn't want to adopt it, the Croppers recognised a golden opportunity to gain a child, and paid Tracy's demand for £25,000 to keep the baby.
Roy grew suspicious and worried when Tracy disappeared on a three-week holiday with the money. Realising how easy it would be for Tracy to disappear with the cash and the baby, Roy said that she must marry him (to prevent her taking the child out of the country without his permission) or cancel the deal. She reluctantly agreed, and they married as Tracy was still pregnant. The adulteress later confessed to her stepbrother Peter Barlow that Steve McDonald was in fact the true father (due to a one-night stand shortly before her so-called fling with Roy), and admitted that she'd never had sex with Roy. This emerged at Steve's wedding to his ex-wife Karen, as Tracy demanded that baby Patience be handed over to her (she'd grown a maternal bond for her newborn daughter). The Croppers, heartbroken, initially attempted to keep Patience from Tracy but when they realized Tracy was willing to call the police and was truly desperate to get her daughter back they handed the baby over. Tracy then returned to them the remaining £17,000 but informed them they were to have no access to her daughter, who she had renamed Amy. The Croppers decided to go on holiday to clear their heads as their solicitor was away, and upon returning they were informed by him that Roy had absolutely no rights to Amy as she was nothing more than their neighbours' daughter at this point. The Croppers decided to drop the issue, and were delighted when Tracy started asking them to babysit Amy and later asked them to be her godparents (at Ken's suggestion in order to help smooth over relations).
A couple of years later, Hayley encountered Becky Granger who she formerly worked with before Becky stole money. Becky had recently been released from prison and had nowhere to go, so Hayley took pity on her and invited Becky to live with her and Roy and work in the cafe. Over the years the couple would form a close bond with the ex-convict, although the relationship took a hit when Becky foolishly went on a joyride with her ex-boyfriend Slug in the couple's new Morris Minor. Eventually Hayley forgave Becky and she continued to work and live with them.
Following the death of a family member in September 2007, Hayley learned that she had a son Christian Gatley as a result of a pre-operative liaison. She hired a private investigator to track him down, and eventually introduced herself to him as his aunt. Roy became suspicious when he discovered that money had been withdrawn from their joint bank account, and confronted Hayley, at which point she revealed everything to Roy. Roy was upset at the deception, as he had previously believed Hayley to be a virgin. Following pressure from Roy to confront Christian, Hayley finally revealed the truth during a private moment by the river. Christian did not take the news well, and made to storm off. Hayley pleaded with him to understand, but during her protestations, Christian lashed out and hit Hayley across the face. On her return to the cafe, she made it clear that she blamed Roy for both the attack, and for the probable loss of contact with her son. This has caused problems in their marriage. The couple then decided to take a three-week break from their jobs and go camping in a bid to mend their issues. In October 2007, Hayley left the Street to go on volunteer work in Africa for a year.
In November 2008, she returned to Weatherfield, but it was clear that she wasn't entirely happy. She appeared evasive to her friends and to Roy. She told him that she wanted to return to her charity work much to his dismay, the real reason being that she had fallen for Olaf, the project team leader. Becky was upset at Hayley's behaviour and called her out on her selfishness, reminding her that she had left Roy alone for a year and was now going to repay him by leaving him permanently. When catching up with Tilly Eaves, one of the other volunteers, she discovered that Olaf wasn't the honourable man she thought he was and subsequently decided to stay on the Street with Roy. She decided not to return to Underworld and opted for a new challenge as a social worker. However, her chances were scuppered when her police record (for the abduction of Wayne in 2001), was revealed, ruling her ineligible to work with children. With no other choice, Hayley returned to the factory but now as a supervisor.
In 2010, Hayley learned that the gender recognition law had been changed and her marriage to Roy could be officially recognised. Although Hayley wanted the two to have a proper wedding, Roy simply saw it as a convenience in regards to inheritance tax. Hayley was upset that Roy seemingly placed so little importance on their relationship and left him, moving in with friend and neighbour Anna Windass. A few days later, Hayley was taken hostage at Underworld alongside her boss Carla Connor by Tony Gordon who had recently escaped from Highfield Prison. Although it seemed like Tony might kill her as revenge on Roy for being partially responsible for his imprisonment, Carla convinced him to let her go. This incident made Roy realize how foolish he had been and how much he loved Hayley and proposed to her properly a week later. Hayley accepted, and the two quickly started organising their wedding.
During the planning, friend Mary Taylor offered to help however she quickly started muscling in and took over planning the whole wedding. Upset, Hayley eventually plucked up the courage to stand up to her and even rescinded her invite to the ceremony itself. When the big day came, the wedding party were taken to the Shawbrooke Country House Hotel by train (with Roy allowed into the driver's cab, something he much appreciated). However, in an act of spite, Mary uncoupled the last car which Hayley was travelling in and it was left behind. However, using a pump wagon, Hayley managed to make it to the hotel and the rest of the day went without a hitch.
In 2011, Roy's mother Sylvia Goodwin arrived after the death of her husband had left her virtually destitute, although she and Hayley didn't initially get on. When Sylvia started talking about the possibility of grandchildren, Roy and Hayley admitted that they couldn't have children but didn't explain the exact reason why. When Sylvia found hormone tablets belonging to Hayley, she assumed that Hayley was going through the menopause until Tracy, eager to cause trouble for the two, told her the truth about Hayley. Sylvia was disgusted and was ready to disown them both, until Roy told her a few home truths. As a result, Sylvia came round and her relationship with Hayley started to slowly improve.
Roy found out that his estranged father had died in early 2013, and soon afterwards, strange things start happening around the café, with items being moved around in the night. Roy and Hayley worried that they were being made fun of by new neighbour Beth Tinker and got CCTV installed in the café. However it soon emerged that the culprit was Roy himself, who had started sleepwalking and was rearranging items in his sleep. Hayley made Roy visit the medical centre and, to reassure him, told him that she would go through the same tests he did.
However, a week later, Hayley was called back into the surgery as Dr Ahktar found that she had abnormal liver functions and was referred to Weatherfield General for an ultrasound. Hayley kept the news to herself until the day of the scan when she confided in a sympathetic Sylvia. Afterwards, Hayley was informed she has a blockage in her bile duct which could be cancerous much to her terror. She told Sylvia of this, and when Carla noticed that Hayley was distracted she found out the reason why and provided a shoulder to cry on, accompanying Hayley to the CT scan to determine the nature of the tumour. Unfortunately, the worst possible news came as consultant Mr Peakman confirmed that Hayley had pancreatic cancer and would need an operation and chemotherapy.
With no choice, Hayley finally told Roy everything and he took the news badly. He constantly searched the internet for information, most of which was no help with the rest making Hayley feel worse. After the small operation to remove the blockage from her bile duct. Hayley didn't wish for the other residents to find out about her illness, however at Audrey Roberts's birthday party at Nick's Bistro, Roy blurted out to everyone what was happening, as he reprimanded Hayley for not resting. Hayley was furious with Roy for acting against her wishes, but soon forgave him in the knowledge that she might not have long to live. She quickly tired of everyone showing her sympathy and suggested a holiday for her and Roy before the operation to remove her tumour. Carla gave Hayley time off work and Mary kindly allowed them to borrow her motor home so that they could leave for an extended break.
- Roy Cropper — Husband
- Harry Patterson — Father
- Christian Gatley — Son
- Maisie Gatley — Granddaughter
- Sam Gatley — Grandson
- Bert Morgan — Uncle
- Monica Morgan — Aunt
"'Cos I don't want to be in authority. I'm happy as I am. Couldn't you speak to 'em 'bout taking too many smoking breaks?" (First line, to Curly Watts).
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