Richard Willmore was a manager at Newton & Ridley who was first seen in September 1992, when Alec Gilroy sold the Rovers Return back to the brewery in order to relocate to Southampton. When Alec's wife Bet decided not to go with her husband, Willmore agreed to let her remain at the Rovers as the manager. Bet struggled to readjust to being dictated to by the brewery once more, and she and Willmore had a frosty relationship, as he checked up on the running of the pub and urged her to boost profits with enterprises such as quiz nights.
The following year, while Bet was away, Liz McDonald stood in and ran the Rovers in her absence. Willmore was impressed with her efficiency and encouraged her to apply for a pub tenancy of her own. After completing her training, Liz and husband Jim were offered the tenancy of The Queens, Newton & Ridley's best pub, much to Bet's chagrin.
Liz loved running her own pub and felt she had finally found her true vocation, but things soon turned sour when Jim decided that Liz's swift appointment must have been due to Willmore fancying her, rather than her talent as a manager. Encouraged by troublemaking barmaid Tanya Pooley, Jim became certain that Liz and Willmore were conducting an affair and thumped Willmore, who banned Jim from entering The Queens, forcing Liz to choose between her job and her marriage.
Liz opted to stick with The Queens and told Jim their marriage was over. However, months later, relations softened between them and they reunited. Willmore was not impressed to discover Jim working at The Queens once more and ordered Liz to banish him from the premises or lose her job. This time, Liz chose Jim and was forced to abandon her dream pub.
Liz considered lodging a complaint against Willmore but was surprised to learn that he had resigned from Newton & Ridley shortly afterwards.
By 2011, Willmore had returned to Newton & Ridley when Jim and Liz contacted him and asked him to consider buying the Rovers from their son Steve and installing them as managers. Willmore examined the pub's accounts and decided that the Rovers was not a worthwhile enterprise for the brewery to purchase.
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