Julie Alexander (Julie Smith) 1998-1999

First Regular Appearance: 2.1 (#65)  Tuesday 1st September 1998

Last Regular Appearance: 3.4 (#144)  Thursday 30th September 1999

Duration: EP: 65 - 144 ½ SE: 2.1 – 3.4

Position: Canteen Worker / Waitress (1998-1999)

Last Seen: Getting engaged to Leon and boarding Biloo’s private jet in Holland. Lost at sea with all others on board.

 

"You mentioned Julie Alexander, could you give us a bit of background on her?"

The girl you would probably have been mates with at school, Julie was straightforward, considerate and strong-willed, coming from a modern urban life. She met Kelly James in the same class at school, and the two became each other's best friend, a real double-act. In the summer of 1998 the two 18-year-olds found jobs together in the Harchester United canteen. Although a mundane job to Julie with rude up-themselves footballers and a no-fun boss in Denise Wilkinson, Kelly couldn't be happier being a part of the club she loved. Kelly was always the bigger Dragons fan of the two, and often drove Julie round the bend with her game analysis and lust for star striker Karl Fletcher. Julie couldn't believe Kelly's excitement the first day Fletch came into the canteen, believing her friend falls in and out of love too easily.

Without even looking for it, a football romance of Julie's own comes in the form of Warren Masters, a new professional left injured from a fall and restricted to spending his time between the gym and canteen. Warren is plagued by both frustration through being unable to return to play, and loneliness from being left behind by his team mates. Julie spends more time with him than anyone else, coming to deeply care about Warren. Being with Julie meant Warren had to tolerate her dozy mate, no more than on Christmas day when the two girls drink too much vodka and forget to switch the oven on with the Turkey inside! Warren has something else to be annoyed with when Julie and Kelly bring his estranged sister Mica to him at the digs, after she turns up to see him. Warren knows Mica is trouble and warns her to stay away from Julie. Mica is out for some fun and takes Julie to London to hit the Boxing day sales, stealing from the food-poison-stricken Fletch and Sean to buy her and Julie drinks.

Julie doesn't have much time to have fun, for Warren becomes unsociable when he is told it is unlikely he will regain his career as a pro footballer. Julie tries to give him space, but becomes concerned when nobody has heard anything from Warren for three days. She takes Kelly to call at the flat, but can't get an answer, so they call the police for help. After the door has been forced open, Julie pushes in and catches sight of Warren lying dead, and has to be carried away by an officer. Kelly tries to convince her distraught friend that there was nothing she could have done, Warren had died from carbon monoxide poisoning, but Julie felt so guilty.

Julie and Kelly had always been mates with youth teamers Leon Richards and Billy O'Neill, and the four would hang out together quite a lot. Julie found she and Leon had a lot in common, and being similar to Warren in appearance, helped her cheer up following his loss. Julie was a great support to Leon while he faced hostilities from rival Alex Wilkinson, who not only drugged Leon but threatened the safety of his toddler son Clayton. With Billy, they came through for Leon by convincing Denise and Leon's ex Clare of Alex's true nature, resulting in Leon getting his chance of gaining a professional contract with the club. Julie is there at Wembley to support Leon as he plays in the FA Cup Final, and now a proper couple the future looked bright.

Julie's job carried over to Harchester's new stadium, The Dragon's Lair the following season, where the team kicked off in the early stages of the Champions League. In an attempt to get Leon to sign with him, agent Biloo Kapur invites Julie to travel to Amsterdam where the team are playing Ajax. After the game, as the team awaited their flight home at the airport, Leon gave Julie her present - an engagement ring, and she excitedly accepted. When the team's flight is delayed, Biloo, who travelled over with Julie on his private jet, offers her, Leon and a few of the other first team players the chance to travel home straight away. The plane flew off into the night but contact was lost over the North Sea, the plane believed to have been struck by lightning in bad weather and gone down. No bodies were ever found and the club would grieve for a long time for the friends lost, particularly Kelly for her best friend.