Owen Armstrong is a former owner of the Builder's Yard on Victoria Street. He is the father of Izzy Armstrong and Katy Armstrong. He soon embarked on a longstanding relationship with Anna Windass, and hired her son Gary - who would later become Izzy's boyfriend - to become his apprentice. They managed to overcome several family problems until Owen went into business partnership with his nefarious client, Pat Phelan - who extorted his £80,000 investment as revenge for Owen stealing his bike and forcing him to repay the money he owed. Following their ordeal with Phelan, the couple grew apart by their financial difficulties and ultimately split up in April 2015. Feeling unable to stay in Weatherfield, Owen accepted an offer of work from a friend in Aberdeen.
Owen raised his two daughters as a single father; his wife Linda having walked out on him in 1997. He tracked his oldest daughter Izzy down to the Rovers Return Inn on Coronation Street in June 2010. Owen and Izzy were not speaking at that time and Gary Windass warned him to back off when he thought Owen was harassing her, however he revealed that he was her father. Owen gave Izzy a peace offering and she begrudgingly agreed to have Sunday lunch with him. He also chatted up Liz McDonald whilst in the pub.
In July 2010, Owen overheard Carla Connor approaching local builder Bill Webster about refitting Underworld after it was destroyed by her psycho ex-husband, Tony Gordon. Owen offered to give Carla a quote leaving Bill furious. Owen later agreed to refurbish the factory, and when he had a row with Bill in the Rovers after Bill accused him of stealing his business, Liz stepped in and defused the situation, leaving Owen smitten with her. Izzy was less than happy when her dad began working nearby, and angered when Owen eavesdropped on her conversations and attempted to persuade her to dissuade her younger sister Katy from going on holiday with her friends.
In August 2010, Owen offered work to Chris Gray and local builder Jason Grimshaw. He also took on Bill but was furious when he accidentally dropped a bucket of cement over Izzy, and tension between the two rose again, although they later made a peace offering in the Rovers. Bill also agreed to sell the yard to Owen and retire. Owen flirted with Jason's mother Eileen and they arranged a date, and she got drunk on their date in the Rovers. Owen later gave her advice after she found out her landlord was selling up and she could end up homeless, and offered her a job to do the yard's books.
In September 2010, Owen continued to date Liz and pass his relationship Eileen as just business, and Sean Tully saw Owen and Liz kissing. Sean informed Eileen who berated Owen and Liz. Owen told Eileen he was going to dock Jason's wages for his timekeeping but an angry Eileen stole from the safe in the yard to pay Jason. Owen was also out of his comfort zone when he discovered Katy was dating Chesney Brown, and even more so when she started skiving from school to go to the market with Chesney where he worked.
In October 2010, when he found out Katy and Chesney had slept together, Owen was less than happy and pinned Chesney against a wall telling him to stay away from Katy. He later talked to Fiz and John about his disapproval of Katy and Chesney sleeping together at No.5. Chesney decided to move out when Fiz banned Katy from coming round and Katy suggested they find a place of their own, but Owen forbade them from living together, but eventually gave his blessing to them staying at No.5.
In November 2010, Liz's ex-husband Jim McDonald sent her some flowers, but Owen met him at The Flying Horse and warned him to stay away from her. Owen later arranged to have Jim beaten up and hospitalised and even visited him in hospital; again threatening Jim and implying that it was him who arranged the beating.
In January 2011, Owen offered Gary, who was dating Izzy at the time, a job but when Jason accidentally locked him in a van, Gary lashed out due to his claustrophobia upon being let out. He attacked Owen but Jason managed to restrain him. He immediately sacked Gary and told Izzy that unless she dumped him he would also be reporting him to the police.
Later that month, Owen checked Eileen's roof and told her that it needed thousands of pounds worth of work doing before it would deteriorate further. Eileen put in an insurance claim, however, it was rejected as the roof damage was down to neglect. Eileen blamed Owen, but he told her that she should have paid for a full survey. Whilst Eileen was going through Owen's books, Carla arrived and payed a £10,000 cheque which she owed. Eileen then stole the cheque. Carla informed Owen that she'd given the cheque to Eileen and he told Carla he had forgotten about it. Owen began to feel guilty about the way he had treated Eileen and offered to repair her roof. Owen's bank card was later rejected and he realised that his money had been stolen. He invited Eileen for a drink, where he told her that he knew she stole money from him. He then threatened to call the police.
Eileen confessed her crime to her half-sister Julie Carp, who reminded her that she knew Owen had been ripping off the taxman. Eileen and Julie broke into the builder's yard and stole documents proving Owen's tax evasion. Eileen told Owen that she needed to see him. He arrived at Eileen's, where she gave him a £10,000 cheque and showed him the copies of the documents proving his tax evasion and theft. Eileen later told Sunita Alahan about Owen's tax evasion and suggested that she blackmail Owen into finishing her shop refurbishment. Knowing Eileen told Sunita, Owen secretly took Jason's house keys and let himself into Eileen's. He found the documents and took them. He filed the documents away and reported Eileen to the police for fraud. The police visited Owen and he told them that Eileen had been embezzling money from his business. Eileen was arrested, but Izzy later forced Owen to apologise to her.
In July 2011, Owen purchased 6 Coronation Street so that Anna Windass would have a secure home for her adoptive daughter Faye Butler. It was clear that Owen was interested in Anna romantically but Faye interfered by stealing Owen's mobile phone and sent a text message to Anna pretending to be Owen. Anna was baffled when the text told her that he no longer had an interest in her and was cancelling their date. It wasn't long before Gary found Owen's phone in Faye's bedroom forced her to tell the truth that she sent the text message. When Owen tried to arrange another date with Anna, she declined saying that it wouldn't be fair as Faye already had too much upheaval in her life. Owen was disappointed but told Anna that he understood. Owen and Anna were unable to fight their feelings for one another and later began a relationship but decided that it would be best to keep it from Faye to avoid upsetting her. However, Faye spotted them together and was immediately annoyed. After some initial resistance, Gary assured her that they would not abandon her and she accepted Owen from that point.
In October 2013, Owen did a job for his client: Pat Phelan. When he refused to pay him what was owed, Owen discovered that Phelan was bankrupt and he tried unsuccessfully to get cash out of him or his snooty wife Valerie. Later on, Owen broke into the couple's house with Gary's assistance and stole Phelan's motorbike. Phelan later came round to the yard and was forced to pay Owen so he could get his motorbike back.
A few days before Christmas, Phelan turned up at No.6 with a business proposition for Owen - offering him a flat-conversion contract and wanting Owen to front the project as he was bankrupt. Anna was quick to grow suspicious of Phelan and and didn't want Owen to agree. Phelan and Owen met up a couple of weeks later to discuss the deal, with Phelan telling Owen that he needed £80,000 upfront for the costs but guaranteed that he would make over £200,000 profit. Owen decided to talk the arrangement over with Anna and Phelan stated that he would give Owen twenty-four hours to think things over. Despite family reservations, their business partnership was agreed.
When Owen realised that Phelan didn't put his share into the account he tried in vain to contact Phelan and believed that Phelan may have conned them. Pat later turned up at the Builder's Yard and revealed that the money was already in the account, much to Owen's embarrassment. Anna then went round to Pat's house to apologise for having a go at him, but later felt uneasy in his presence and left. During numerous meets with Pat and his wife, Anna felt increasingly awkward - especially on one occasion when Pat had stroked her across the back and kept complimenting her appearance.
Anna decided to settle the score and invited Phelan round to No.6 to tell him to back off. However Phelan, seemingly oblivious to her demands, began to accuse her of trying to come onto him. He appeared to try and make a move on her, but soon left leaving Anna worried. That night, she backed out of another meeting with Phelan and Valerie at Nick's Bistro - feigning illness. When Izzy checked up on Anna to see if she was recovering, she learned about Phelan's attempt to rape her and soon told Gary. In response, Gary planned to confront Phelan and offered to take him home instead of Owen - who was left unaware of the situation. By the time Owen and the rest of the workmen had left the site, Gary confronted Phelan began questioning him about what went on. Phelan, ignoring Gary's demand to stay away from his mother, started to badmouth Anna until Gary was provoked into punching Phelan. The pair engaged in a fight, with Phelan gaining the upper hand until Gary struck him over the head with a plank of wood - knocking him unconscious. Gary, believing that he killed Phelan, summoned Owen to the site - only for the pair to discover there was no sign of him.
Phelan turned up again a few days later, proving that he was alive and well. Owen then planned to cut all ties with Phelan, but he and Gary were summoned to his office - where Phelan showed the pair that he has CCTV footage of Gary punching him. Owen, suspecting that Phelan planned to report Gary to the police, tried to argue that he would be prove himself to be just as guilty when the police were told that Owen was just a front of Phelan - a bankrupt. Phelan, however, called his bluff by reminding him that all of his assets were in his wife's name and that Owen would merely expose his involvement in the cover-up of Gary's tracks. Phelan also told Owen and Gary that he had further copies of the incident, which prompted Owen to submit to the punishment Phelan would plan for them. Phelan insisted that he and Gary completed the work for a minimum wage, gleaning no profit, or else he would report Gary to the police. Despite their reluctance, Owen complied with Phelan's blackmail - as he didn't want his grandson Jake to have a life without a father figure if Gary were to be sent down.
From that point, Owen and Gary were left exhausted as Phelan blackmailed the pair during the course of his project - such as forcing Gary to dig a grave for a dead pigeon and getting Owen to wash his car. When Phelan ordered them to remove perfectly fitted windows, Owen was forced to separate Gary when he lashed out at Phelan. By then, the impact of Phelan's blackmail has strained their friendship - as well as causing the pair to take their frustrations out on Gary's mother and Owen's children. Gary soon convinced Owen to get one over Phelan by stealing a shipment of tiles from him. However, Phelan was quick to intercept their plot and was ready to report Gary to the police when Owen stopped him. At first Owen was relieved when Phelan decided not to report Gary to the police, but Phelan then shocked Owen by declaring that he would be keeping his £80,000 investment - which Phelan had been planning to do as revenge for Owen stealing his bike and forcing him to repay him the £4,000 he owed to him. Owen was left outraged and blamed Gary for their predicament, which prompted Gary to try and personally get revenge on Phelan by breaking into his house while he was on holiday. Owen quickly learned what Gary was doing and managed to stop him at the last second, but Phelan soon learned of the break-in upon returning from his holiday and deduced their involvement. However, rather than punishing Gary again, Phelan instead retaliated on Owen by arranging for him to be removed from the council's list of approved builders. This effectively blacklisted Owen, up to the point where he could no longer get any independent work.
Phelan continued to torment Owen by demoting him from his position as his site project's foreman and forcing him to work under the command of Clive, a disrespectful builder. Owen was left reeling from his ordeal with Phelan. Later on, when Phelan ordered Owen to tidy the work site and left the area with Clive - who forgot his lighter - Owen found the lighter and contemplated on setting fire to the work, the result of which would have destroyed Phelan's empire in the process. He nearly does this until Anna, who had learned what Phelan was doing to them, arrived to talk him out of it. Once he did, she confronted him until he broke down in her arms - ashamed for the situation he put her family in. Anna comforted Owen and later made a personal request to Phelan that he leave Gary and Owen alone, going as far as to explain Gary's PTSD from his previous experience with the army. Phelan agreed on the condition that she slept with him. Anna was extremely hesitant, but relented when Phelan blackmailed her into threatening to escalate Owen's ordeal and Gary later had a mental breakdown in front of her. Without Owen's knowledge, Anna complied with Phelan's blackmail and the two have sex at a hotel - where Phelan raped Anna after forcing her to go along with his deed. Phelan later visited the house and informed Gary and Owen that they were released from his contract. He mentioned Anna's involvement in helping them, but covered up the truth by fabricating a story that she complained about the situation to Valerie - who would've persuaded Phelan to let them go and end the dispute. Before leaving, Phelan forced Owen to sign the contract that released him and Gary from the project in exchange for the disc that contained CCTV footage of Gary assaulting him - though this came at the expense of going bankrupt. Indeed, while their ordeal from Phelan appeared to be over, both the Armstrong and Windass families were left in dire financial straits due to Owen losing his £80,000 investment. Because of this, Owen was forced to sell the yard to Jason. On the night Tina was killed by her former lover Rob Donovan, Anna confessed to Owen that Phelan forced her to sleep with him to release him and Gary from the contract. Owen temporarily broke up with her in response, but the pair eventually reconciled.
A couple of months later, Owen was forced to sell No.6 to help pay their debts, and the family moved into 19a Rosamund Street.
Owen's ex-wife Linda Hancock turned up after almost twenty years, wanting to see their daughters again. After Owen's attempts to stop her, she revealed to Izzy and Katy that he denied her access all those years ago. The family turned sour towards Owen for this revelation, and he felt obliged to allow Linda back into their lives. When Linda decided to move back to Portugal, she asked Owen to join her but he remained behind out of loyalty to Anna.
A few weeks later, Owen was angry when thirteen-year-old Faye gave birth to a baby girl and he attacked her friend Craig Tinker believing he was the father (and subsequently punched Kirk Sutherland). Owen was arrested and cautioned, but this was the final nail in the coffin for his relationship with Anna and she dumped him.
After a failed attempt at reconciliation, Owen decided that he couldn't remain in Weatherfield and went to visit Katy in Portugal, and then planned to move to Aberdeen to work with an old friend. After saying his goodbyes, he drove off in his van to Manchester Airport.
After Katy was killed in a car accident in October 2017, Owen relayed the news to Izzy over the phone.
- The character of Owen was created by producer Kim Crowther as the father of Izzy Armstrong and Ian Puleston-Davies was cast in the role, signing an initial six-month contract.
- Owen and his on-screen family were initially given the surname "Butterfield", but it was later changed to "Armstrong".
- In November 2014 Puleston-Davies quit Coronation Street after four and a half years of playing Owen Armstrong. The character departed the following year in April 2015.
First and last lines
"I was beginning to think you'd fled the country" (First line, to daughter Izzy)
"Bye Anna" (Final line)