Sam Littlewood was Rita Littlewood's uncle on her on her father Harold's side. Sam was a former wheelwright and was then a scrap-metal dealer. In April 1977, he gave Rita away when she married Len Fairclough. In his short but concise speech as father of the bride, Sam gave his blessing to the union, and went on to drink everyone under the table at the reception.
He later retired to Blackpool from Blackburn, and it was here that Rita turned to him when she walked out on Len in February 1980, briefly working at Sandy Lane Launderette. Despairing of them both, Sam forced Len to go to Blackpool and plead to Rita to return to Coronation Street with him.