Joining the garage's predecessor MVB Motors as an apprentice in 1995, Tony borrowed money from his mother Natalie Horrocks to buy the garage on the cheap after Don Brennan's mismanagement caused the business to go bust. While in Weatherfield, he had a relationship with hairdresser Fiona Middleton, but broke it off when she lied about visiting her ex-boyfriend Steve McDonald at Strangeways.
In 1997, traumatised after running over and killing Joyce Smedley with his car, Tony left for Leeds with Natalie taking over his half of the garage. He returned to the street in 1998 to hide from drug dealers, however the men caught up with him at his mother's house and his stepfather Des Barnes lost his life defending Tony from them. After this, Tony and Natalie became totally estranged. In 2000, his body was found in a building site by Vinny Sorrell, having lain undiscovered since he was beaten to death by drug dealer Jez Quigley a year earlier.
Tony was the son of Natalie Barnes and Nick Horrocks. In 1995, Tony began working as an apprentice at MVB Motors alongside fellow mechanic Kevin Webster. A year later, Tony almost went into partnership with Don Brennan, who had bought the garage from Mike Baldwin, but later decided not to as Don wasn't doing well with the business and had financial problems.
Tony had a brief relationship with local hairdresser Fiona Middleton, but broke it off with her after she lied about visiting her ex-boyfriend Steve McDonald in Strangeways Jail. Tony later handed in his notice at the garage when arguing with Don, and went to work at Fast Fitters Exhaust Centre. He was later joined by Kevin after the garage went bust. The garage was later sold to Tony and Kevin by Don's ex-girlfriend Josie Clarke for £25,000.
In 1997, Tony accidentally ran over and killed Joyce Smedley when she ran in front of him while walking her dog Scamper. Wracked with guilt, he swore never to drive again and got his dad to take his car to the wreckers. Tony let his mother Natalie look after his share, and after saying farewell to Kevin left for Leeds.
However while away, Tony became embroiled in the world of drugs. He returned to the street in 1998 for his mother's wedding to Des Barnes, and stayed at their home afterwards. Natalie was delighted, Des not so much, but Tony was hiding a secret - he owed drug dealers money, and was only sticking around because he was wanted back in Leeds, where his flat had been torched. A furious Des discovered the truth after finding Tony attempting to hide his stash by burying them in the garden and, after washing his drug stash down the sink, ordered him to move far away in order to make a fresh start. In exchange for him doing this, he would not tell Natalie or the police what Tony had been up to. But it was too late - one night, the dealers turned up at the house and attempted to attack Tony. Des burst in and tried to stop them, but in the ensuing scuffle banged his head hard on the table. He was taken to hospital but later died of a massive heart attack. Natalie, widowed after just a month, was distraught and furious at the trouble her son had brought. She ordered Tony to leave the street, and he departed to London without even attending Des's funeral, but turned up again soon after. He told his mother there was nothing for him in the capital and he was truly sorry and hated himself for what he had done. Natalie began to soften, but this was very much short-lived when she found more packets of cocaine in his pocket. She shopped Tony to the police and flushed the drugs away, ending any chance of a reconciliation for good.
Unbeknown to anyone, Tony was beaten up and killed by drug dealer Jez Quigley a couple of months later, his body then dumped in the cellar of a building site. It wasn't until a year later his decomposed remains were found by Natalie's boyfriend Vinny Sorrell, which brought fresh grief to her despite her disownment of Tony. Jez was suspected of being the killer and the case went to trial, with Steve McDonald giving evidence against him. However, Natalie was gutted when Jez was found not guilty. Jez eventually got his comeuppance; he was beaten up by Jim McDonald in a revenge attack after Jez and his gang did the same to Steve, and died of a ruptured spleen in hospital.
First and last lines
"Hey, who's your bird's mate?" (First line, to Des Barnes)
"Mum..." (Final line)