Coronation Street characters named after Burnley footballers, says former player

Ex-Clarets star Paul Weller has said that late Coronation Street scriptwriter Peter Whalley was a huge fan and a season ticket holder at Turf Moor.

And he claimed that when he was looking for names for new arrivals on the cobbles he used his favourite Burnley aces for inspiration.

Midfielder Paul, 46, played more than 250 times for the Lancashire club between 1993 and 2004 and revealed the Corrie connection in his new autobiography, Not Such a Bad Life.

He said: "A mention on Coronation Street was always a possibility at this time.

"The scriptwriter was a guy called Peter Whalley, a season ticket holder, who had fun naming some of the characters in the street after his favourite Burnley players.

"His favourite player was Robbie Blake and apparently, he used a few names for some of the minor characters who appeared briefly, like police officers or shop customers.

"He could definitely have used Paul Cook's name for a bookie maybe. That's what we called him, Cookie the bookie.

"Maybe I'm in some long-forgotten episode from 20 years ago: Mr Weller, the lollipop man.

"When he was stuck for a name, he just thought of our previous game and who had played."

Peter Whalley was the soap's longest-serving and most prolific scriptwriter, penning 601 episodes over 35 years before he died from cancer in 2017.

He wrote some of the biggest storylines in the much-loved show's history, including the episode resolving the Mike Baldwin-Deirdre Barlow affair, which had gripped the nation for months.

When she chose to stay with her husband, Ken, 18million viewers were watching – and the Old Trafford scoreboard for a midweek Manchester United match informed fans at half-time: "Deirdre and Ken united again!"

He was also responsible for the scripts when Mike and Ken had a punch-up in the Rovers (1990), Mavis Wilton's tear-jerking final episode (1997), Todd Grimshaw telling Sarah Platt that he was gay (2004), and Jack Duckworth movingly singing If You Were the Only Girl in the World as his wife, Vera, died (2008).

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