Having abandoned her husband Ray and children Jimmy, Linda and Ryan in the late 1980s, Eve regained contact with her family in 2000 after Dean was shot and killed in an armed robbery at Freshco supermarket. Eve attempted to make up for the lost years, in particular helping Linda through her troubled marriage to Mike Baldwin.
In 2001, Eve married butcher Fred Elliott, with Fred buying the Rovers and making her licensee. However, when it transpired that Eve was still married to Ray, Fred threw her out.
In the late 1980s, Evelyn walked out on her family as she felt unappreciated by her husband Ray Sykes, who was often in and out of prison. Her absence resulted in her daughter Linda taking on a mothering role towards her brothers. However, by 1990 Linda had grown tired of the role forced upon her and she too abandoned her family. Due to having no true role model the youngest son Dean Sykes went off the rails and in October 2000 he held numerous residents of Coronation Street hostage at a Freshco supermarket, alongside his friend Lenny Larkin, before being shot dead by policewoman Emma Taylor.
In the week that followed a funeral was organised by Ray, and Evelyn decided that she would attend after reading about Dean's death in the paper. Linda also attended the funeral accompanied by her friend Karen Phillips for moral support as she hadn't been back to the area in ten years. The funeral was made even more tense by the fact that Linda's husband Mike Baldwin wasn't in attendance, as he had been one of those taken hostage by Dean, and Ray suggested that Mike would have been happy that Dean died.
After a confrontation Linda decided to leave, stating that it had been a mistake for her to have returned in the first place and blaming Evelyn for the way Dean had turned out, but she was eventually convinced to stay until after the burial when the hearse arrived. Later in the day Evelyn was able to have a heart-to-heart with her daughter at the wake, explaining her reasoning for leaving all those years ago, and the pair left on civil terms with Evelyn advising her daughter to contact her if there was anything she ever needed.
First and last lines
"Hello Linda, love. Yer lookin' well." (First line)
"...But what will I do?" (Final line, to Fred Elliott)