THE SUSPECT SHOOTING
Once upon a time, if you had to guess which Sun Hill officer had a secret Dirty Harry side, The Bill's Bob Cryer probably wouldn't have made the shortlist. But then came the fateful day he whipped out a very big pistol to take on a fleeing bad guy. The suspect - a mouthy, shouty and seriously obnoxious armed robber - had been cornered in a building site and wasn't about to go quietly, waving his shotgun at the officers and practically begging to get himself shot.
Cryer duly obliged, blowing a hole in him from afar. Then, in a startling twist, it turned out the robber's shotgun wasn't actually loaded. Cryer was in the clear as he had acted properly in the face of an apparent threat, but poor old Bob was left feeling haunted and distressed by the fact he'd taken a man's life. Even if the bloke did have it coming.
THE SURPRISE PARTY
It's not often we got to see Bob crack a smile. But even he let his standard Eeyore expression melt into something signifying pleasure when his Sun Hill mates threw him a surprise party in a local pub to celebrate two decades on the force. Or, as they put it, "20 years in the madhouse and still no parole". They also managed to find a card featuring a very large pop-up nose, in honour of Cryer's iconic conk. Bob was so moved that he delivered a speech to his comrades, one so poignant and heartfelt that Burnside quipped "Mine's a pint and a packet of Kleenex." The one downer? Fellow officer Tom Penny getting stopped and nicked for drink-driving after leaving the party.
THE TROUBLESOME SON
Coppers don't come much cleaner than Bob Cryer, who was always proudly on the straight and narrow. So you can imagine how badly this paragon of virtue took it when his own son, Patrick, was implicated in a lethal traffic accident which left a car in a canal with dead passengers inside. It was an emotional blow he'd never recover from, permanently damaging his family ties and making him pretty grumpy with other troubled lads he'd meet in his career. Or perhaps he was just being his usual grumpy self. Always hard to tell with Cryer.
THE "FRIENDLY FIRE" INCIDENT
Another shooting incident, but this time Bob Cryer himself was the victim. The terrible thing here is that the man who pulled the trigger, fellow copper Dale Smith, was something of a protégé of Cryer's. In fact - and how's this for irony? - it was Cryer himself who'd encouraged Dale to get trained up as a firearms officer. It wasn't Dale's fault though - a violent situation at a primary school put him in an impossible situation when an angry parent took Cryer and a teacher hostage. In the fracas that ensued, Dale made the split second decision to pull the trigger on the parent just as Cryer was in the way. Luckily it wasn't a life-threatening injury, but he was forced to retire from the force soon afterwards due to ill health.
THE TWO CRYERS
His shooting and its aftermath may have ended Bob's job, but it certainly wasn't the last we saw of him. Rather heartwarmingly, he would later return to team up with Sun Hill's second Cryer - his charming and plucky niece Robbie - to delve into particularly troublesome cases. A much-loved member of the team, Robbie Cryer was a ray of sunshine compared to her uncle, but they made quite a crime-busting team, even if Bob's old school approach to policing rubbed some of the newer officers up the wrong way.
THE LAST HURRAH
We couldn't not mention Bob Cryer's last ever appearance on The Bill. Rather touchingly, it involved a final reunion between three old hands from Sun Hill. Cryer joined forces with Jack Meadows and Alec Peters to attend the funeral of their old pal Ted Roach, who'd been killed in a hit-and-run in the middle of the countryside. This unlikely rural setting was quite a departure for Cryer and the boys, who ended up delving into the suspicious circumstances around Roach's demise. What ensued was a story about forbidden love and the acceptance of mortality - a perfect, poignant send-off story for the beloved Bob Cryer.