John Salthouse had previously been a professional footballer until injury had forced him to retire. He had played for Crystal Palace under the name of John Lewis in the 1960s, a fact which he drew on in playing the sullen Tony in Abigail's Party. He also appeared in the early series of the Sky One soap opera Dream Team as the club's academy coach, Frank Patcham. He appeared in Series 1 and Series 2, and later became one of the show's producers. For the penultimate episode, Salthouse made a cameo appearance offering a young Jason Porter a contract with Harchester United.