The match officials visited every Premier League football club by bicycle in a nine-day, 1,000-mile challenge in July, being joined by colleagues from the Premier Game Match Officials (PGMOL) along the way.
The tour began at Watford’s Vicarage Road, finishing nine days later at The Stadium of Light in Sunderland.
The pair are regular guests at the Yorkshire Young Achievers Awards, sponsored by McCormicks Solicitors, so had seen for themselves how the Foundation spends money raised to support young people in Yorkshire.
We caught up with Martin and Jon after their triumphant completion to find out how tough it had been.
What was the hardest challenge of the ride?
Martin: Getting the legs working every morning after each day in the saddle! And spending the whole tour sharing a room with Mossy who's the most untidy person I’ve met!
Jon: For me it was day 3 going to Swansea. We were soaking wet and freezing and we kept going up hill after hill. When we stopped for lunch I was tired and cold. However, pie and chips did the trick and the afternoon wasn’t too bad.
What did you enjoy most?
Martin: I enjoyed every day of the ride, and surprised myself how well we managed to ride the whole nine days and actually look like cyclists!
Jon: I think I enjoyed seeing England and Wales on a bike. We travel all over the country with football on the train and in planes and cars and sometimes you miss out on all the great scenery we have in England.
What was the most unexpected thing you encountered?
Martin: Probably having to go cross country and carry the bikes over a couple of ditches and through a load of bushes to get onto a safe road!
Jon: I think like Martin, going the wrong way and having to carry the bike over ditches to get back on the right route. Also it’s amazing all the canal tow paths we went on around London and Birmingham. None of them were flat and all had challenging terrain.
Which was the hardest day?
Martin: I found the hardest day coming away from Burnley back to Leeds, that was so tough in the heat and the hills. Felt totally shattered as we had done three club visits and the day prior was a tough day. Had a really tough couple of hours on the bike keeping going.
Jon: The first three days were the most difficult and then your body starts to adapt to being in pain!
What reaction did you get from spectators?
Martin: The reaction from the vast majority of clubs was superb, and especially the ones we engaged with for community and referee events. It was brilliant being involved in that and it shows me how lucky we are to be involved in football and how the cycle hopefully helped so many others.
Jon: Most of the clubs were great and people we met along the way were really supportive. On our way to Hull we ran out of water- one of our support vehicles went into a shop and bought 96 bottles of water. The shop owner asked what all the water was for? When she was told she mentioned she had seen about the ride on Sky Sports and promptly gave us all the water for free!
How did it feel to finish?
Martin: It was an amazing feeling to finish the ride. We both said it was going to be tough and really push ourselves to a physical extend that we hadn't done before. Over 100 miles each day for nine days is something even our "real cyclists" hadn't done so for us amateurs the feeling of achievement was awesome.
Jon: Relief and a huge sense of achievement. Sunderland were fantastic and gave us a super reception.
How much have you raised so far?
Martin: I think the money raised is currently around £18,000 but certainly we are looking for that to increase with the auction items we collected along the way.
Jon: Nearing £20,000 with lots of shirts still to auction.
Would you do it again?
Martin: I'd love to do it again, and will certainly look at another cycle challenge. I really did enjoy every day of the event, and the sense of achievement and such brilliant worthwhile causes was worth the pain. Definitely another cycle challenge next year!
Jon: It was too easy- next year something bigger and better!!!
The Whistle Stop Tour fundraising page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/WhistleStopTour is still open so please support our heroic referees!