Who was Kelly’s dad Rick Neelan in Coronation Street and how did he die?

Gary Windass (Mikey North) was looking forward to the future and his marriage to Maria Conor (Samia Longchambon) in Coronation Street before Rick Neelan’s (Greg Wood) daughter Kelly returned to the Cobbles.

Kelly Neelan (Millie Gibson) originally arrived in Weatherfield last year looking for answers about her dad’s whereabouts, with Gary unable to offer her any solid information.

Now back and studying at Weatherfield High, Kelly still has no idea that her dad is dead. But will her reappearance mean the truth will out? And how did her dad die in the first place? 

Who was Kelly’s dad Rick Neelan in Coronation Street?

Rick Neelan was Weatherfield’s dodgy loan shark who returned to the Street last year after a seven year absence. 

Before his reappearance, Rick had been in prison for smuggling and dealing drugs – a storyline that came to a dramatic head in 2012 when he kidnapped Rita Sullivan on the day of her wedding to Dennis Tanner to use her as a bargaining tool to get control of his stash back.

The police arrived, arresting Rick and freeing Rita from his grasp, before the dangerous loan shark was sentenced to at least eight years in prison. 


However, seven years later Rick was released from prison and back on the Street, set to make another resident’s life a misery. 

His reappearance occurred after Gary failed to repay a debt that he owed Rick in secret – with terrible consequences. 

How did Rick Neelan die in Coronation Street?

In June 2019, after Gary was unable to pay the debt he owed or gain the upper hand, Rick lured him to the woods with the intention of killing him.  

When Gary was ambushed by Rick in the woods and discovered a shallow grave had been dug for him, a fight between the two ensued. 


In the midst of the fight between the pair, Gary picked up a rock and hit Rick over the head with it, killing him. Gary then went on to bury Rick in the grave that Rick had prepared for him.

Speaking about the storyline actor Mikey North said: ‘In Gary’s defence. Rick came at him with a shovel and well it was literally a fight to the death, and he’s got to fight to survive. Luckily, he manages to grab a rock in time and he sorts him out. 


‘I think it is quite hard for him to take at first. I think he thought he was at rock bottom before, but this now makes it even worse. This will definitely have a knock on effect for Gary, but I am sure he will pick himself up from here – the only way is up.’

The truth about Rick’s disappearance – and Gary’s role in it – has remained a secret until now, but will Kelly’s determination to find out what happened to her dad mean the truth will out? Only time will tell.

Coronation Street continues tonight, Friday 24 April, at 7.30pm on ITV.

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