Pompous Wilf Starkey applied for the position of Rovers potman shortly after Bet Lynch became manager and was immediately given the job. Middle-aged and curly haired, Wilf fancied himself a student of human nature (he wrote a book on the subject while at the Rovers) and was chatty with the customers. On starting at the pub, he made an effort to get the staff on side; when Hilda Ogden read out the staff's tea leaves, she told Wilf he would be travelling East. Wilf then pretended he'd been invited East to Gorton so that at least one of Hilda's predictions would come true.
Wilf joined the Rovers' quiz team when the brewery were planning a "Brainiest Pub" contest. In the run-up to the match against the White Swan, he turned himself into a walking sports manual (none of the other team members knew much about sport) but the brewery took him off the team as staff weren't allowed to take part. Percy Sugden replaced Wilf on the team (and ended up getting the deciding question on football wrong) and Wilf accused him of shopping him to the brewery.
In June, Wilf pocketed £4,000 patron Don Ashton had left in an envelope in his briefcase at the Rovers. The money was cash payment from Mike Baldwin for an order, to avoid paying tax. Don had left briefcase in Rovers night before, while drunk, he died minutes later when he drove his car into the canal! Hilda handed the briefcase to Wilf, the case was handed to the Police but no mention of money was made, this made Mike Baldwin realise who had stolen it. When all comes to all Wilf had dipped into the case and stolen the money. Mike Baldwin wanted his money back and threatened Wilf with the Police. Wilf returned the money to Mike and begged Bet not to sack him, insisting he wasn't a thief and he hadn't known where the money came from when he found it. However when the Rovers till was £5 short after a shift, Wilf realised Bet would think he'd stolen it and, already unhappy with Bet moving in her friend Frank Mills and feared she was going to replace him as cellarman with the more fanciable Frank. Bet apologised to Wilf when Ken Barlow came forward with the missing £5 - he'd been given too much change - but Wilf had already found another job and had moved on.