AN ENGINEERING firm is hoping a sponsorship link-up with Britain’s strongest man will ‘lift’ them above the opposition.

Burnley based Gee-Force Hydraulics, who supply the UK offshore gas and oil industry, has teamed up with Britain’s strongest man, 30-year-old Laurence Shahlaei.

The sponsorship deal will help support Laurence’s efforts to retain his title in the coming year and he’ll also be working with the business to promote their services.

The tie-up came about after Powerteam, which is one of Gee-Force's suppliers, sponsored a strong man event. Gee-Force went along and met Laurence who thought it would be a good idea.

Shahlaei is winner of England’s Strongest Man, Britain's Strongest Man and is also a regular competitor at the World's Strongest Man.

Managing director of the Farrington Court firm, Graeme Cook said: “We are delighted to have Laurence on board, he’s sure to be a popular presence.

“I was a logical tie up for us — as Britain’s strongest man, Laurence is at the top of his game. That said, he’s not the largest competitor, but his intelligent approach and his innovative training methods give him an edge.

“As Laurence will tell you, winning can often be a matter of very tight margins.”

Shahlaei, who says his least favourite strongman event is the Atlas stones, also made a memorable TV appearance in August 2011 when he competed on Deal or no Deal, winning £20,000. He celebrated by lifting presenter Noel Edmonds up above his head. He said: “It’s great to have the support of everybody at Gee-Force and I’m looking forward to supporting their presence at their industry next conference.”