Coronation Street bids farewell to a beloved member of it’s most famous family next week when Eccles the dog sadly passes away.
The popular pooch was introduced in 2006 as a canine companion for Ken Barlow’s cantankerous late mother-in-law Blanche Hunt, bequeathed to her by pal Lena Thistlewood in her will.
Eccles became a firm fan favourite and stuck by street stalwart Ken through Blanche’s death in 2010, as well as the loss of his wife Deirdre in 2014.
On Wednesday 8th April, Emma Brooker takes Eccles and dad Steve McDonald’s dog Rover for walkies on the cobbles, but starts to notice the Barlow bow-wow is not her usual self.
Rushing the pet to the vet, Emma is told Eccles has an inoperable tumour and the family are summoned. Arriving on the scene, Ken, daughter Tracy McDonald, hubby Steve and their daughter Amy Barlow are devastated to learn Eccles’ condition was so serious she has been put to sleep, so she doesn’t have to endure any more suffering…
The border terrier has been at the centre of some big storylines over the years – most recently when Ken sneaked her into his retirement village Stillwaters, despite the stringent ‘no pets allowed’ rule.
In 2014 Tracy waged a campaign to get her mum’s mutt put down after Amy said she’d bitten her. Turns out Amy was lying and it all got forgotten. Then in 2018, teenage tearaway Tyler Jefferies and his gang poisoned the pooch to send a menacing message to Simon Barlow who was due to testify against them in court.
And if Ken hadn’t taken Eccles for a walk along the canal in 2009, he would never have met barge-dwelling bohemian temptress Martha Fraser (memorably played by Dynasty star Stephanie Beacham), who he eventually had an affair with.
So RIP Eccles – will losing her make Ken pine for the street he’s left behind for a new life in Stillwaters with lover Claudia Colby? And is it too soon for the family to start thinking about getting another dog?