PETE JAMESON has labelled leaving York City as “probably the hardest decision” that he has ever had to make.

The goalkeeper was immovable in his final season at the LNER Community Stadium, playing a crucial role as York sealed promotion to the Vanarama National League.

Jameson played every minute in the division for City, producing some incredible performances to solidify his status as one of the club’s best players across the campaign.

Soon after the conclusion of the 2021/22 term, the 29-year-old announced that he would be leaving the Minstermen to play in the Football League, with Harrogate Town revealing him as a new signing shortly after.

“It was probably the hardest decision that I’ve ever had to make really,” reflected Jameson on leaving City. “Especially in terms of football, because my connection to York was so strong.

“I think everyone could see that, from the lads in the dressing room to the fans, including little Jack (Ratcliffe) as well!

“It was such a hard decision to make. But in football terms, you have to think personally and it was an ambition of mine to go to the Football League.

“I’m not getting any younger now and times like this don’t come around very often.”

Jameson was last season’s recipient of the York City Clubman of the Year award, winning a poll amongst York supporters with 61 per cent of the votes.

The shot-stopper, who signed for City from Blyth Spartans in 2019, felt that sealing promotion was a key factor in the choice he had on his future with York.

“It was probably something that helped my decision, leaving on a high.

“When I first came to York and signed under Steve Watson, my objective was to win promotion.

“In the first year, we finished top but lost on points-per-game and then the second year was the (cancelled) Covid season.

“And then this season, it was so nice to leave on a high because I know how much it meant to the fans and the club to get promotion and get out of that league.”

By the half-way stage of last season in the National League North, promotion seemed a long way from City’s reach. After a 3-0 defeat to Bradford (Park Avenue) in January, the club languished in 14th place.

They were a team that, at least then, seemed destined to once again finish in mid-table. After Askey’s appointment, form finally started to improve for the Minstermen, with the former Macclesfield Town boss able to guide them up the table.

“At the start of the season, it wasn’t good enough,” said Jameson. “As players we all had to accept that and it had to change.

“When John Askey came in, it gave everybody a lift and it changed our momentum really.

“I think we were 15th at one point so to turn that around was amazing. That’s just football at times.

"Once you get a couple of wins under your belt, you get that confidence and that momentum and it just took us over the line. We peaked at the right time.”

York were able to storm into the play-offs under Askey, finishing in fifth place.

They conceded just one goal in their three play-off games, with Jameson saving a penalty in the semi-finals against Brackley Town.

“After the Brackley game, I was on top of the world,” enthused Jameson.

“I just had to bring myself back down to Earth, because we still had one more game to go.

“It was nice to save the penalty but the lads on the pitch did their job too. That’s what matters because it’s a team game and everyone played their part.”

Alongside York’s success in the division came a cup run, as City were able to reach the semi-finals of the Buildbase FA Trophy before being eliminated by National League side Bromley.

City lost the tie 3-1 after an early Kurt Willoughby goal was cancelled out by a Michael Cheek brace and a late strike from James Alabi.

In spite of that, York were able to put on some memorable displays, such as their penalty shootout victory over Dagenham and Redbridge in the quarter-finals from which Jameson emerged the hero.

“It feels like so long ago now”, laughed Jameson. “Winning the play-off final was the best for me, but personally that was amazing.

“It was a big day out and we were playing a team in the league above in a quarter-final. To win it on penalties was just amazing and to save three was a really good feeling and definitely up there with one of my best memories in football.”

Jameson will now look to the Sky Bet League Two with Harrogate Town. Their season will begin on July 30th, a week before York will start their National League term.

Although the ex-Darlington goalkeeper will not be playing for the Minstermen next season, he will be maintaining ties with the club.

“There’s so many good people at York. I’ve made friends for a lifetime. I’ll now always be a fan of York and I’m sure that I’ll be coming back down to watch them play.

“I can’t speak highly enough of the club, I want them to do well and I know that it will because it’s got the structure, from the training ground to the new stadium.

“I want to see the club get back into the Football League because it’s such a big club and it deserves to be there. Hopefully I can see York soon and our paths will cross again.”