Alfa athletes take heart

Kelly Sotherton, Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, Iwan Thomas and Lisa Dobriskey bare all for charity

Harry Aikines naked Alfa Romeo (Fergus Greer)

Alfa Romeo has teamed up with Kelly Sotherton, Lisa Dobriskey, Harry Aikines-Aryeetey and Iwan Thomas and top photographer Fergus Greer to raise money for Heart Research UK.

The athletes were snapped alongside an Alfa MiTo car in a series of risqué poses in the runup to this weekend’s Diamond League at Crystal Palace. With a power and beauty theme and the exclusive selection of photos have been entitled “Without heart we could be mere machines”.

Also, to celebrate the climax of the track and field season, Alfa Romeo will donate £100 to Heart Research UK for every new red Alfa MiTo sold during August.

Greer has photographed a variety of personalities including David Bowie, Bill Gates, David Cameron and Princes William and Harry and his work has appeared in solo shows at the National Portrait Gallery.

He said: “Alfa Romeo cars are renowned for their stylish designs and aesthetic appeal. Couple this with the athletes’ own finely honed physiques and you’ve got a fantastic subject matter to work with. It is always great to photograph professional athletes in the prime of their lives and I’m proud of the shots that I’ve taken. I hope they help raise a lot of money for the charity.”

Olympic heptathlon medallist Sotherton said: “When the opportunity came up to help raise funds for Heart Research UK with Alfa Romeo I didn’t hesitate to get involved. I was obviously a little nervous about being naked but I’m proud of the pictures and they’ll be something I will be able to show the grandkids one day.”

Sprinter Aikines-Aryeetey added: “I’ve actually been in a few photo shoots before but nothing to this degree. This is the most revealing I’ve been for a shoot and it really was exciting to do.”

Barbara Harpham, from Heart Research UK, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Alfa Romeo which has shown a whole lot of heart in developing this eye-catching campaign. Heart Research UK helps keep hearts healthy and what better examples are there than our outstanding, talented British athletes? They’re very brave to bare all and I’m sure they’ll get hearts racing. They and Alfa Romeo are certain to do us proud and help people live healthier, happier, longer lives.”

Kelly Sotherton Iwan Thomas Harry Aikines Lisa Dobriskey naked (Fergus Greer)

» Alfa Romeo, official car supplier to UK Athletics, will donate £100 to Heart Research UK for every red Alfa MiTo sold in August. Visit RomeoUK to view the full photo gallery

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