In December 2000, Wayne first came into contact with Roy and Hayley after running away from home - the pair looked after him for a short period of time and protected him from being taken away by Alex. Unfortunately at some point in 2001, Sheila and Alex regained custody of Wayne - Roy and Hayley were left extremely concerned about Wayne's safety and agreed to have him move in with them. Alex then began to extort money from the Croppers in order to allow them to keep Wayne - however, after realising that Hayley was transgender he began to pressure them for more cash.
Realising that Alex would never let the three of them be a family, the Croppers decided to flee with Wayne - but later handed themselves into the police and attempted to expose Alex's abuse of both Wayne and Sheila. However, Sheila refused to corroborate the pair's story and Hayley ended up in prison after refusing to stay away from Wayne. Eventually, Sheila was able to speak out about her boyfriend's abuse and Hayley was released.
In March 2019, Wayne returned to Coronation Street while investigating the Underworld collapse that had killed local resident Rana Habeeb. Roy and Wayne were soon able to reacquaint themselves, and Wayne was left saddened to learn about Hayley's death in January 2014.
2000-2001: Meeting Hayley and Roy
In his early years Wayne was placed into care by his mother Sheila - allegedly due to the fact that she couldn't cope with him and his bad behaviour at school. However, the truth was that Sheila had become involved with a new man Alex Swinton who took a disliking to Wayne and began to come between the mother and son. By December 2000, Wayne was residing at a children's home but ran away after learning that he was being sent back to stay with him mother and Alex over Christmas. While on the run Wayne broke into Roy's Rolls to steal food but fled after being discovered by the owner; Roy Cropper. Following the break-in, Roy's wife Hayley decided to contact the police - however, Roy was left more concerned about Wayne's safety (rather than having him punished) after realising that he had only taken food instead of attempting to steal money from the till.
The next day, Roy once again spotted Wayne - this time lurking around the Builder's Yard - and invited him back to the cafe for some food. Noticing that Wayne must have been living rough, Hayley insisted that he took a bath up in the flat. While Wayne was out of the room, Roy contacted the police for a second time - although Wayne overheard the conversation and attempted to flee again. Roy and Hayley were able to talk Wayne out of running away, and he began to open up to them about his time in care and the reasons as to why he had run away from home.
On Christmas Day, Hayley contacted Wayne's mother and soon after Alex arrived at the cafe to collect Wayne. In front of the Croppers Alex pretended to be polite and friendly - but Wayne showed discomfort towards him. Roy clocked Wayne's discomfort and, watching the pair leave out of the window, witnessed Alex beating him. Roy confronted Alex and refused to allow him to take Wayne away, afterwards Wayne joined the Croppers for a Christmas dinner while waiting to be taken back to the Home and was grateful to receive a Christmas present from the pair. Not long after Wayne's return to Upside the Croppers were left surprised when he turned up at the cafe and revealed that he had run away once again. Both Roy and Hayley insisted that Wayne returned and, feeling rejected, he fled from the cafe. Roy was left consumed with guilt, feeling as though he had let Wayne down, but on tracking him down both he and Hayley were able to convince Wayne to return to the Home and they all parted on good terms.
In June 2001, Hayley bumped into Sheila and Wayne and took them back to the cafe for some lunch. Several hours after the pair had left, Wayne returned without his mother and pleaded to be able to stay the night with the Croppers - revealing that Alex had continued his abusive behaviour. While Roy and Hayley found themselves in a difficult position, Roy related the situation to the of the abuse he had suffered at the hands of his own step-father Roger Goodwin in his youth and decided that they needed to do something in order to protect Wayne. When Alex arrived later the next day to collect Wayne he found himself confronted by the Croppers, who attempted to record a confession in order to show social services - although Alex worked out their plan a smashed the recording device. He then stunned the Croppers by revealing that he would allow them to keep Wayne permanently for £10,000. Roy and Hayley revealed that they didn't have that kind of money and so Alex offered to lower the price to £5,000 - to which the Croppers accepted on the condition that nobody would find out about the deal.
After learning about Alex's arrangement with the Croppers, Sheila turned up at the cafe to return their money. Upon noticing a cut on Sheila's lip, Hayley realised that she was also a victim of Alex's abuse and suggested that she take Wayne and the money to start a fresh life away from him. Unable to speak out against Alex, Sheila refused, but decided that the Croppers could offer Wayne a more stable home and allowed him to stay with them. Despite attempting to hide Sheila's own suffering from Wayne he worked it out for himself and asked Roy and Hayley if she could move in with them as well. However, due to lack of room the Croppers were forced to decline.
While Wayne was staying with them, the Croppers kept up the pretense to their neighbours that they were fostering him. Although, their happy family setup didn't last for long before Alex discovered that Sheila had went behind his back and returned the Cropper's money and turned up at the cafe demanding £100 a week in order for them to be able to keep Wayne. Meanwhile, Wayne befriended David Platt who invited him on a camping trip to Derbyshire organised by Martin Platt and Sally Webster for their children. Wayne initially decided to decline the invitation after he wet the bed, but Roy and Hayley were eager to give Wayne a sense of normality and, after receiving their own invitation, agreed to attend with him.
While on the camping holiday, the Croppers were located by Alex - who had been told about Hayley's sexuality by Les Battersby. Alex threatened to contact the police if the pair didn't hand Wayne back over into his care, and as a result the pair stole Martin's care and escaped. They ended up staying with Ruth Audley, an old friend of Hayley's, in Warwickshire while the police opened up a search for the couple. The papers began to portray Alex as a loving stepfather and blasted Roy and Hayley as kidnappers. In desperation, Roy and Hayley hatched a plan to catch a ferry to Ireland, before finally coming to their senses and opting to hand themselves in and put their faith in the British justice system. However, before they could do so Ruth betrayed them and contacted the police herself. Roy and Hayley were taken into police custody while Wayne returned to his parents.
The Croppers were both granted bail, on the condition that they had no further contact with Wayne, but Hayley refused as she was furious that the police were not investigating Alex. While Roy admired Hayley's courage he advised her to change her mind, although it was too late and Hayley was sent to prison - where she had a tough time after the other inmates realised she was transgender. Eventually, after one final beating, Sheila stood up to Alex and reported him to the police - her admission led to Hayley being released and the charges against the Croppers being dropped. In December 2001, Wayne and Sheila visited Roy and Hayley one last time. While Roy and Wayne bonded, Sheila revealed that Alex was serving a prison sentence and marveled at Wayne's growth in confidence over the last few months, she also assured Hayley that she was doing well for herself and thanked her for everything the pair had done.
2019-present: Investigating the Underworld collapse
By March 2019, Wayne was working as a health and safety inspector and turned up on Coronation Street again (for the first time in nearly two decades) to investigate the Underworld collapse which had claimed the life of Rana Habeeb. In order to carry out his work, Wayne was required to inspect the structure of the building and interview potential witnesses including factory owners Carla Connor and Nick Tilsley as well as builder Gary Windass. During a break from work he decided to pay Roy a visit and, after learning of Hayley's death from cancer back in January 2014, admitted that he had wanted to return sooner but hadn't wanted to intrude. While catching up with Roy, Wayne was shocked to discover that he was living with Carla - the main suspect in the roof collapse.
When Wayne investigated Carla, Nick and Gary they all pretended to have had no foreknowledge about the roof being unsafe. However, Gary had informed Carla weeks prior that the entire roof was in need of replacement (as the previous worker, Pat Phelan, had cut corners leaving the roof extremely dangerous) but had been bribed into lying for Carla by her partner Peter Barlow.
While the investigation was ongoing Wayne spent his spare time attempting to help Roy track down the origins of a ring his mother, Sylvia Goodwin, had left in her will. This infuriated Rana's brother Imran Habeeb who chastised Wayne for not focusing solely on finding out who was responsible for his sister's death.
- Actor Gary Damer originally portrayed the character of Wayne between December 2000 and December 2001, however the character was recast upon his return in March 2019 with Adam Barlow taking over the role.