Mr Lawther was a football talent scout who visited 3 Coronation Street in March 1961 to speak to David Barlow about him signing up for Weatherfield County FC, firstly as an amateur and later on, if he proved suitable, as a professional. David was initially out at the time of his call and Frank Barlow insisted that Lawther be sat in the front room. His stated motive was to not show him that he and Ida were keen for David to sign and thus overplay their hand however in reality he had deep misgivings about David giving up his engineering apprenticeship. Ida was mortified that their guest was stuck in a room with no fire and asked Frank that he be let into the back room with them. He agreed and he and Lawther chatted in the more convivial atmosphere.
Lawther told Frank that they always wanted the parents' approval to a signing, especially when the lad was underage, as otherwise it might affect their game. He admitted that good schoolboy players didn't always make the grade but he felt differently about David. Frank confessed his fears to Mr Lawther who tried to assure him that they were only signing him up for amateur status at first and then if things went well he would become a part-time professional. Lawther offered to leave if Frank was dead against the idea but before he could do so, Frank told him that the matter was entirely David's choice. The lad himself came in soon afterwards, in awe of their guest as he knew of him and had seen him watching his play from the sidelines. Although Frank expressed further doubts, David was dazzled by the offer and easily signed on the dotted line.