The relationship between the outspoken and harridan-like Sylvia and Roy, whom she labelled a "disappointment", was fraught from the start. Her marriage to second husband Roger Goodwin further soured relations between the two, leading to Roy's departure from the family home aged sixteen.
Roy had very little contact with Sylvia until April 2011, when Roger died. Prior to moving to Weatherfield, Sylvia was a resident at the Twelve Oaks Care Home, which she despised. Roy received an invitation to the funeral but did not attend, believing it would bring back painful memories. However, Sylvia turned up at Roy's Rolls after the funeral, enquiring about Roy's 'lack of support'. She was hurt to find out Roy had married without telling her.
Roger's death had left Sylvia financially ruined (he had died with numerous debts to his name), and she ended up selling the house and moving into a retirement home. Hayley could sense that Sylvia was uncomfortable at the home, and persuaded her to move into the flat above Roy's Rolls with herself and Roy - much to Roy's annoyance. Sylvia began helping out behind the cafe counter shortly afterwards, often bemusing customers with her blunt speech and insistence on manners.
After some months, Hayley realised that she would have to admit that she was a transsexual woman before anybody else informed Sylvia. Tracy Barlow managed to spill the beans before either Roy or Hayley had a chance to. Though Sylvia was shocked at the revelation, Roy insisted that she would have to accept Hayley or move out of the flat. Sylvia grudgingly put the revelation behind her. Roy was angry that Sylvia had re-entered his life at this stage, thinking her an unwanted reminder of an unhappy past. Sylvia revealed that no matter the difficulties she encountered in raising him, she was proud that he had built up an entire business and found a wife all on his own.
In August 2011, Sylvia decided to become more involved in the business of running Roy's Rolls, and promptly decided that offering customers free condiments at the table was nonsensical. Buying all the necessary sachets, Sylvia decided that all condiments and other extras - including sugar and milk - would be sold at the counter for 10p. Roy felt unable to act, despite Sylvia's actions alienating customers. Following yet another unnecessary charge - this time on the lavatory after Karl Munro entered the cafe solely to use the facility - Norris Cole decided enough was enough. After he managed to slip unnoticed into the lavatory, Sylvia insisted he pay the 20p charge or spend all night in the closet. Norris stuck to his guns and was promptly locked in until the next morning. After Sylvia's actions were revealed to Roy, Mary Taylor, Emily Bishop and Dennis Tanner, her punishment was to wait on the four of them during a specially prepared after-hours meal.
In October 2011, after retrieving a discarded magazine competition entry written by Norris and Mary, Sylvia submitted the entry and promptly won the prize of a Caribbean cruise. Upon her return on Christmas Day, she informed the regulars of her spontaneous romance with businessman Milton Fanshaw and "entertained" the cafe-goers with her renditions on the uke-banjo, which had been given to her by Milton. Keeping in touch with him, Sylvia took Skype lessons from Sophie Webster in order to avoid the hefty transatlantic phone costs. Mary, who was still aghast at Sylvia having won the cruise with his entry, entered an unwilling Norris into a music competition with Sylvia. The competition took place in the Rovers in January 2012 in front of the regulars. Milton made a surprise appearance at the show, and immediately rekindled his romance with Sylvia.
Milton noticed the empty unit next to Roy's Rolls - previously occupied by Elliott & Son - and suggested that Roy purchase it, expanding the cafe into an American-style diner. Though Sylvia thought the plan was an excellent business venture, Roy was firmly against it. Eventually, Milton decided to return to California and insisted that Sylvia join him. She initially jumped at the chance, bidding Roy and Hayley goodbye and travelling to the airport with him. However, deciding that she couldn't turn her back on her son, she decided not to step onto the plane and concocted a suitable cover story for her return.
In February 2013 Sylvia's behaviour changed and she started going out without telling Roy where. One night Roy followed her and was amazed to find her going into a casino. Sylvia eventually told Roy about her addiction and how she lost £3,000. Roy decided to get the money back by using using his mathematical skills along with Sylvia, Dennis Tanner and Ken Barlow. He ended up winning back the money and although Sylvia tried persuade him to gamble more, Roy refused.
In March, Sylvia started attending the One o'clock Club with other elderly people. Later in the month she brought Dennis and a man called Stan Whitmore to Roy's Rolls for a meal. While talking, Stan noticed Sylvia's arthritis in her wrist and offered her a brownie - which Sylvia loved, however Dennis told her that the brownies contained cannabis. When Stan could not make her any brownies Sylvia made her own. Later on Dennis had some back pain so Sylvia gave him one to help. A few days later, Dennis's wife Rita noticed how odd Dennis was being and eventually found out about the cannabis brownies and told Roy what Sylvia had been doing. She was later advised by Doctor Carter about the danger of marijuana and other drugs. Sylvia stopped having the brownies after what she'd heard and also left the One o'clock Club.
Later in the year when Milton suffered a fall at his home, Sylvia went over to look after him. When Roy and Hayley went to visit, Sylvia also had an accident. When Roy returned to Weatherfield to check up on his business, Hayley remained with Sylvia and Milton to take care of them. In August 2013, Sylvia went to stay with her sister Jean in Hastings to get away from the problems at home with Roy and Hayley.
Following Hayley's death in January 2014, Roy left a note saying he was visiting Jean and Sylvia, however a couple of weeks later Fiz discovered that Roy didn't go to Jean's house and that Sylvia was away in Tenerife.
Her sister Jean was in contact again during January 2016 and subsequently left a message with Cathy Matthews, asking Roy to get in touch with her regarding Sylvia. After a few days of putting this off, Roy eventually phoned Jean and learned that his mother had broken both wrists while line dancing. Although Roy's relationship with Sylvia had been strained ever since she took off after Hayley's diagnosis, he decided to do the right thing and booked an impromptu trip to Hastings.
- The introduction of a family member for Roy Cropper was first tipped in October 2010. Stephanie Cole's casting as Roy's mother Sylvia was announced in in December that year. The character was described as having an "outspoken attitude" and was to make her mark on the street. Speaking on the casting, Cole said "I am absolutely delighted to be joining. In any great drama - be it on television or on the stage - the writing comes first, and Coronation Street is brilliantly written.... She also revealed that she was a fan of Roy (David Neilson) and Hayley Cropper (Julie Hesmondhalgh) and that it was a privilege to be working with them. A few days before the character's first on-screen appearance on 11th April 2011, Cole said that fans should expect "a mix of wit and outspoken behaviour" from her character.
- Before her introduction, some articles would give her surname as "Cropper", until it was established she had remarried after splitting up from Roy's father, and now goes by the surname "Goodwin".
- Sylvia was absent from August 2012 to February 2013 as actress Stephanie Cole was unwell.
- Stephanie Cole quit the series in August 2013 because of a family bereavement (although it was originally reported it was due to ill health). This came at the same time as a storyline involving Hayley Cropper who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer leading up to her departure from the show. She was originally intended to stay longer and was to bring caustic charm to screens right up until Hayley's death. Her final appearance in the programme was in Episode 8182 broadcast on 2nd August 2013.
- Six months after the character's final appearance, Stephanie Cole confirmed on ITV's Daybreak programme that she had no plans to return to Coronation Street.
First and last lines
"I knew this was a bad idea." (First line)
"A clockwise tour of cathedrals, you need your head read." (Final line)