it was a Whistle Stop Tour for Premier League referees

Referees from England's football Premier League are took to the road last week to raise funds for The Jane Tomlinson Appeal and Yorkshire Young Achievers Awards. 

The match officials launched the Whistle Stop Tour to visit every Premier League football club by bicycle in a nine-day challenge which ran from 12th July to the 20th and covered 1,000 miles.


Organised by referees and Appeal supporters Martin Atkinson - fresh from officiating at Euro 2016 - and Jon Moss the challenge started in Watford  and finished 9 days later at the northernmost club of Sunderland, with miles of pedalling and pain inbetween. 

The pair were joined by colleagues from the Premier Game Match Officials (PGMOL) along the way as they pedalled to raise funds for the Jane Tomlinson Appeal and the Yorkshire Young Achievers Foundation and after 9 days of cycling their Just Giving Page hit the £17,000 mark but they aren't done yet, aiming to raise £50,000 in total to be shared between the two charities. 

Jon Moss said before setting off on the challenge: "This is a major challenge and we are looking forward to it with some trepidation, particularly since our original ride leader has had to retire injured after an accident on his bike a couple of weeks ago. We really will be seeing the Premier League clubs from a different perspective and we look forward to meeting both club personnel and fans along the way. Our chosen charities are both relatively small but we have seen their work at first hand and what a tremendous job they do and that is why we wanted to raise funds for them."

The Tour began its journey around the London clubs, going south to Southampton and Bournemouth before embarking on a day-and-a-half to reach Swansea, the only Welsh club. Then it passes through the Midlands, calling at West Bromwich Albion and Leicester City before heading north-west to Stoke City, Everton and Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City and Burnley.

The Tour then headed east to one of the two new Premier League clubs, Hull City, before visiting the second at Middlesbrough and finishing in Sunderland.

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The Chairman of the Yorkshire Young Achievers Foundation, Peter McCormick OBE, said: "This is a terrific event and I cannot thank the members of the PGMOL enough for deciding to help us to support young people in Yorkshire to achieve their full potential."

Jane Tomlinson Appeal Event Manager Holli Kellett said: "The Whistle Stop Tour is a really exciting event and we are urging everyone to get behind the team and support them on their ride. We are extremely grateful to be one of the charities benefiting from the challenge and the money raised will make a huge difference and help us to continue our support of children's and cancer charities, we can't thank the Premier League and the team enough for their continued support. "

They may have finished cycling but it is not too late to support the Whistle Stop Tour. Catch up with the challenge on twitter @Whistlestoptour and see what Jon, Martin and the team went through to raise vital funds. 

You can still donate to The Whistle Stop Tour by going to their Just Giving Page - send them a message of congratulations and donate whatever you can.