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Last Updated: Saturday, 19 June, 2004, 09:14 GMT 10:14 UK
Businessman, 90, tackles ageism
Deryck Howell
Deryck Howell started working 70 years ago
A 90-year-old businessman has kicked off a football match involving former Wales goalkeeper Neville Southall to highlight age discrimination in the workplace.

Deryck Howell still works for the family firm in Cardiff, which makes military and medical equipment.

He started working as a pharmacist 70 years ago for his father's chain of shops, Howell and Sons.

A week-long campaign by Age Positive Wales aims to change business attitudes to employing older people.

Mr Howell, who tossed the coin at the start of the match, still works all week at the family businesses BCB and BCB International.

"I work when I like - I'm a bit lazy now so I go into BCB late morning then I go over to International at lunchtime as the coffee's better, and I work until about four," he said.

"I keep a paternal eye on things and help people with their spelling."

"Many of my contemporaries retired and before long they started to curl their toes up. It's important to keep active and keep using your brain - I always do a crossword every morning."

The campaign, supported by the Department for Work and Pensions, aims to change business attitudes to employing older people.

Former Wales goalkeeper Neville Southall
Neville Southall is helping give the red card to age discrimination

A week of activities kicked off with a veterans' five-a-side match against a Wales youth academy team at Leckwith Stadium in Cardiff on Saturday.

Former Everton keeper Southall, who was still playing professional football until he was 43, lined up alongside former Cardiff City footballers, including Cohen Griffith and Derek Brazil.

As well as major retail chains who have pioneered the recruitment of older workers, the campaign hopes to encourage smaller businesses.

Amongst celebrities and sports stars endorsing the campaign is singer Bonnie Tyler, who turned 53 last week.

She said: "As far as I am concerned I feel as energetic and enthusiastic now about my singing as I did 30 years ago.

"It's having a passion for what you do and not letting a birthday stop you that's important."

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