Ronald "Ron" Cooke was a 45-year-old draughtsman who responded to Maggie Clegg's advert in a newspaper personal column in August 1972. In his letter, Ron told Maggie that he admired her for taking the initiative and left his phone number for Maggie to contact him if she wished. Unbeknown to Ron, Maggie's ad was actually placed there by shop assistant Norma Ford on a misguided attempt to lift a lonely Maggie's spirits. When Maggie found out, she was deeply embarrassed and threatened Norma with the sack. Norma read Ron's letter while checking on Maggie's replies and persuaded Maggie to let her read it out to her. Although her feelings on the matter hadn't changed, Maggie could see that Ron was speaking from the heart and agreed to phone him. Ron was delighted that Maggie had contacted him and called at the Corner Shop later that day.

Ron and Maggie spent the next few days getting to know each other. They learned that they were both shy and lonely and that they enjoyed each other's company. As Ron didn't drink while they were together, Maggie got the impression that Ron was teetotal but he admitted to her that he was actually an alcoholic. Also, Ron credited Maggie for lifting him out of his slump for that brief time and so he asked her for help. Ron's story was all too familiar to Maggie as she had been married to violent alcoholic Les Clegg for more than twenty years, and having recently divorced Les, she wasn't prepared to put herself through it all again and so she turned down Ron's request and he left the area.

In June 1974, Ron passed through Weatherfield on business before going to Zaire for a job. While in Weatherfield, he encountered Maggie again and informed her that he had stayed sober since his last visit. Ron's re-appearance threw a spanner in the works in Maggie and Alf Roberts's relationship, as Alf had proposed to Maggie on the same day that she met up with Ron again. On hearing the news through Rita Littlewood, Ron decided to step aside and leave Weatherfield right away, but he had a change of heart at the airport and went back and proposed to Maggie himself. Maggie accepted his proposal and they set the date for 10th July, arranging to move to Zaire for Ron's new job immediately afterwards.

Due to Les's history with alcohol, Maggie decided not to tell her son Gordon Clegg that Ron had been an alcoholic but Gordon found out anyway when Alf revealed it to him. Gordon then confronted Ron who won him over with his devotion to Maggie and convinced him that he had beat the bottle. Ron and Maggie then made it to the altar in St. Mary's Church and moved to Zaire as planned.

Later that year, Ron paid for return flights to Manchester for Maggie as a Christmas present.

Ron had died by 2003, when Betty Williams explained to Shelley Unwin that her sister was once again a widow.

List of appearances



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