Two referees ran a whole marathon from Molineux to the Hawthorns on Saturday (November 30) whilst passing non-league grounds to help raise funds for Beacon.

The Whistle Foundation, a local charitable group, wanted to mark the upcoming two-year anniversary of the passing of fellow referee and close friend Richard Eades. The two pounded the streets of the Black Country and managed to complete the challenge in a staggering 6hours and 29minutes. Ajay Sharma and Jamie Lunn came up with the idea when thinking of a fun and different way of getting local football clubs involved as well. 

Jamie said: “Today would have been Richards 44th birthday and we wanted to celebrate his life and doing something for the local community. Ajay and I wanted a big challenge and chose to involve as many non-league clubs as possible, so it made sense to run the route but add stops along the way via local grounds and help raise awareness along the way.”

The runners stomped through Wolverhampton Casuals, Wednesfield, Sporting Khalsa, Darlaston 1874, Bilston Town and Tividale – with supporters urging them on at every stop. The foundation is also selling t-shirts to mark the occasion and encouraging the public and local clubs to buy them. The t-shirts have been designed by Beacon’s Fab Lab which supports people with sight loss in design and manufacturing. 

Ajay added: “This was a huge challenge and was not easy. It was tough and we really had to push ourselves, but the memory of our friend and the difference we are making to the sight loss community kept us going. With the support of Beacon, we have also designed and printed special t-shirts to mark the occasion which we are selling to the public and local football clubs to help raise further funds. For the small price of £5 you can help us go over our fundraising target.

The runners were cheered on at every stop, cheering them on to the finish line. They have managed to raised over £1,250 and are encouraging the pubic to dig deep to and donate as much as possible.

Lisa Cowley, Beacon CEO, explained: “What an amazing achievement. Competing a whole 26miles is very challenging and I know first-hand it can be very difficult – especially in this cold weather. But I am over the moon to see Ajay and Jamie complete the course with a smile. We are very grateful for their support and everyone that donated towards their challenge.”

To support the runners and donate towards their effort, visit:

You can also buy a memorial t-shirt via Beacon by contacting n