AN EX-professional hockey player from Penarth has started his own franchise to tackle loneliness amongst elderly people.

Steve Lyle, 40, joined the Cardiff Devils in 1994 and played for 11 teams over 23 seasons.

During 1997, the team voted him as their Player of the Year.

Mr Lyle said: “I had an ice hockey career for 24 years and became professional at the age of 14 when I started playing for the Cardiff Devils.

“I have been capped 73 times for Great Britain, meaning I represented the country, and retired 3 seasons ago.”

Following his retirement, Mr Lyle established his own franchise with the driving and companion service, Driving Miss Daisy.

He said: “Each day is different in this business. One day you may be taking a client to a hospital appointment and the next you could take them food shopping or on a day trip to Bath or London.

“Helping people get out and about is exciting.

“Companionship is an important part of the business - giving people respite and tackling loneliness by spending time with them at their house, having a cup of tea and a chat.”

Mr Lyle’s driving service will be available for bookings throughout Cardiff and the Vale from Thursday, February 10.