JON Parkin has signed an extension to his contract to keep him at York City until the summer of 2019.

The veteran striker, who turns 36 a week tomorrow, has netted 16 times this term and his new deal will mean he is scheduled to still be on the North Yorkshire club’s books for the proposed final game at Bootham Crescent before relocation to Monks Cross.

City chief Martin Gray described Parkin as a “top-bracket centre-forward” on securing his services for another campaign on top of his previous terms, enthusing: "We are delighted that Jon has committed his future to the club for another 18 months.

“There is so much we are looking to build on going forward and Jon is a key part of what we want to do. He is a big personality, a big character and such an important player.

“Wherever he has been in his career, he has scored goals and any centre-forward who gets 200 goals in a career is top-bracket."

Barnsley-born Parkin originally signed for the Minstermen in 2002 but moved on after two years and played for a lengthy list of clubs, including in the Championship for Hull, Stoke, Cardiff and Preston.

He returned to Bootham Crescent, initially on loan, midway through last season, going on to score 16 goals, including at Wembley in the FA Trophy final against Macclesfield.

Theo Wharton, meanwhile, has moved to National League North rivals Tamworth in a one-month loan deal, but transfer-listed fellow midfielder Simon Heslop remains at Bootham Crescent despite more higher-division interest in his services, following his recent stint at Eastleigh.

“We’ve had an approach from a Conference club, who showed an interest, but that’s all it was, so we’re just sitting by the phone still to see if somebody takes him on a long-term loan or a full-time deal,” Gray explained.

The City chief went on to insist that Alex Whittle, meanwhile, is not surplus to requirements despite the left-back having failed to make the last two matchday squads.

“He still figures in my plans - there’s no doubt about that,” Gray declared. “We’ve got competition for places in the squad with the likes of Josh Law and Alex Whittle around and it’s not a question of me not wanting him around – far from it.

“From his point of view, you should enjoy coming to work as a professional footballer because, if not, what are you doing in the game. This isn’t work – it should be a pleasure to come in and train as a footballer for a couple of hours a day.”

A second medical opinion is still being sought, though, on Michael Rankine's high-blood pressure condition before he can resume full training and playing.