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Coronation Street fans thrilled as villain Rick Neelan returns for dramatic showdown with Gary Windass

Coronation Street
(Image credit: ITV)

Scary loan shark Rick hasn’t been seen on the cobbles since 2012…

Coronation Street fans were thrilled to see the return of a familiar face on Friday night – notorious loan shark Rick Neelan.

Rick, played by actor Greg Wood, returned in spectacularly dramatic fashion as it was revealed that Gary Windass, who has been plagued by money troubles, had taken the drastic step of securing a loan from him.

But despite Rick turning up in Weatherfield and threatening violence against Sarah Platt if Gary doesn’t pay him what he owes, viewers were delighted to see him back on the cobbles.

Taking to Twitter to share some throwback snaps of Rick’s previous trips to Weatherfield, the official Corrie account said: ‘OH NO - Gary's in big trouble if he owes money to Rick! 😱

‘Who remembers the bother Rick caused the last time he was in Weatherfield?’

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Fans were quick to respond, with some praising his return.

One said: ‘Yup a face well known from the past 👏👏 great stuff for bringing him back again after good few years. He played fab in the #Tina SL remember him so well.’

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A third joked: ‘Rick clearly uses his loan shark profits to retain his youthful looks! #HasntAgedAtAll.’

While other viewers feared for Gary’s safety after they realised Rick’s return meant he was in some serious hot water.

One said: ‘Oh no!!!! You don't want to mess with Rick, Gary!!! I remember that horrible man!!!! 😳😱😱 #Corrie.’

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Rick was last seen in 2012, kidnapping Rita Tanner on her wedding day after Tina McIntyre stole the drugs her boyfriend, Tommy, was meant to smuggle into Amsterdam for Rick.

Back in 2010, he had made Joe McIntyre's life a misery over a £5,000 debt, which eventually lead to his accidental death in a boating accident.

Coronation Street airs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 7:30pm and 8:30pm on ITV.

Jenni McKnight is a beauty, lifestyle and entertainment journalist, currently US Lifestyle Editor for HELLO! Online. She has also written for HELLO! Magazine, GoodTo, CelebsNow, Daily Mirror and Yahoo!  Her first big break came when she interned on the Guilty Pleasures showbiz desk at Metro newspaper. She has since worked on the online lifestyle team at Woman & Home and Woman and was Senior Content Editor at CelebsNow.