Manchester photographer catches up with Bolt and Farah for football shoot

Simon Austin's picture
by Simon Austin
Bolt and Farah

Manchester-based Paul Cooper has photographed Olympic legends Usain Bolt and Mo Farah ahead of the annual Soccer Aid match at Old Trafford.

The duo will be taking part in the charity match on June 10. Cooper, a portrait and advertising photographer, said: “It ’s not every day you get to photograph such iconic legends of sports who between them they have 39 World and Olympic gold medals.

“They are both big personalities and their energy really translated into the photos, although some of their keep up skills were a bit suspect.

“It’s great they are supporting such a worthy cause which will help poverty stricken children across the world. It will be interesting to see them head to head at Old Trafford, will Bolt’s speed or Farah’s stamina prevail as they swap their spikes for football boots.”

The shoots had to be done in just 15 minutes and involved rapid kit changes. The images have been used in media channels and promotional materials.

The shoots were sponsored by Direct Digital, which has offices in Manchester and London. Cooper has worked for publications including the Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph and FourFourTwo.