Tracy Sharon Shankley was born to Evette Shankley and Frank Clayton. One day, Frank left Evette and Tracy, and Tracy lost contact with her father. Frank's departure also caused Evette to begin developing a drink problem. When Tracy tries to stop her, Evette throws her out, but still demands money for rent. Tracy becomes a prostitute, a regular client being Phil Webb, whom of which she re-encounter in 2018. Tracy later gave up prostitution and moved onto adult chat lines, and lost contact with her mother.
2014: Arrival and DepatureEdit
Tracy comes to Emmerdale to meet Sam Dingle, after they began talking via an adult chat line. Sam asks Tracy to stay with him, but his step-mother, Lisa, kicks Tracy out when she becomes suspicious of her. Sam and Tracy eventually move into Brook Cottage with Robbie Lawson. Tracy cons Sam out of money and leaves.
2015-2016: Return and David's CancerEdit
Tracy eventually starts working at The Grange after she reminds Val of Amy Wyatt and Val allows her to sleep in the spare room. She works there for a time and with Val's help rekindles her relationship with Sam, only to lose him to Rachel Breckle. She falls out with Val and soon begins sleeping and living with Andy Sugden, who'd just lost his wife. Andy can't cope with a relationship beyond sex, and when he accidentally hurts her during an argument, he asks her to leave. She soon comes crawling back to the Grange until she finds a job with Jimmy and moves in with him. She and Bernice Blackstock clash, with Bernice going so far as to accuse her of stealing jewelry from her, but learn to tolerate each other.
In July 2015, Rodney comes back from Amsterdam with a present for Jimmy. It is a DVD, entitled Busty Cream Cake Cafe Girls, and after getting Jimmy alone, Rodney reveals the present with Tracy on the front cover. Jimmy then realises that she used to be a 'specialist' actor. Tracy explains that she was in poverty and desperate to get any money she could. When Jimmy understands, she kisses him, but he pushes her away. They continue to work together until a driver at his haulage firm is hospitalised and it comes out that he is in the country illegally. As Tracy was the one responsible for unknowingly hiring someone who has no papers, Jimmy reluctantly fires her. Tracy then has no choice but to return to the Grange, where Val rehires her, but now makes her pay for her room and board. Val dies soon after, but remembers Tracy in a video goodbye - she tells Tracy to keep her hands off Eric. Tracy tries to help Eric run the B&B as he spirals into grief, and is hurt when Leyla asks if she's taking advantage of him.
Tracy continues to live rent-free at the B&B, but when Val's sister Diane takes over part of the business, she questions the arrangement when they could easily rent out the room. Tracy brags to Carly about having Eric wrapped around her little finger, unaware that Diane can hear her. Tracy is soon asked to leave, and moves in with Carly and Vanessa.
After Eric's son David is diagnosed with testicular cancer, Eric asks Tracy to keep an eye on him. They end up having sex, but David feels betrayed when he realises Tracy knew about his diagnosis, and assumes she only slept with him out of pity. Once they get over this issue, she continues to support the family, convincing David's son Jacob not to leave the village when he feels hurt over David lying to him. In spite of this, she still feels like she isn't truly a part of their family. Diane catches Tracy booking flights to Ibiza in The B&B. She calls David round, lying to him by saying that she urgently needs to see him. When David arrives, Diane locks him in a room with Tracy, but then quietly unlocks it again without them knowing. Tracy hangs out the window and screams like mad for help. Tracy fells back from the window and lands on David; they share a kiss. Tracy then gets in a taxi to get to the airport, but they soon have a flat tyre. Finn Barton and David call Ross over the radio. David asks to speak to Tracy. Tracy tells Ross to drive back to the village. She meets David in The Woolpack with everyone watching. Unexpectedly, David proposes to Tracy. Tracy accepts, but feels uneasy about marrying him while he's seriously ill. David agrees to wait, but keeps proposing in hopes she'll change her mind. She slowly does change her mind, but they decide to keep waiting until he gets his test results back.
Tracy encounters resistance from the people in David's life, especially Leyla, who assumes she is a golddigger. When Leyla's housemate and friend Vanessa is overheard talking with Leyla about Vanessa, Tracy snaps at her, leading the two women to have a fight. Meanwhile, David tries to track down Tracy's father when she gives his absence as a reason why she's waiting to marry. He finds Frank Clayton in prison, visiting him and having a conversation about "Teeny." Tracy is hurt that David went behind her back, and even more hurt to realise the girl Frank is talking about can't be her, as he never called her that name. Tracy begins to warm to Frank when he's attacked, and agrees to let him live with her when he's released from prison. Vanessa and Leyla get the wrong idea and think the man she's in contact with is a fling, leading to more tension between them. Things get even more tense when, during a visit to see Frank, Vanessa and Tracy learn they are half-sisters. After another fight, they try to make amends, but a hurt Tracy decides she'd rather Frank not stay with her. He moves in with Vanessa instead.
David throws Tracy a big birthday party, and Vanessa gives Tracy a gift. Her good intentions are marred when Tracy realises that when she was a little girl Frank took one of her toys and gave it to Vanessa for a birthday present. David tries to convince Tracy to give him another chance, but she overhears Frank telling Vanessa he only cares about her. Tracy, wanting revenge, makes it look like Frank stole Eric's bank card. David is disturbed by her actions and tells her he now wonders whether it's a good idea to get married after all.
David's test results show that he is clear of cancer, and he and Tracy move toward a wedding day. Tracy manages to get the charges against Frank dropped, but still wants nothing to do with him. On the day of the wedding, Frank kidnaps Tracy to make her change her mind, leaving an unaware David to assume she's stood him up. Vanessa finds them and they make peace, but their cars don't work, nor do their phones. They manage to get a ride back on a tractor and Tracy makes it to the church just in time.