Veteran Yorke staying with Sunderland

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The Independent Football

Sunderland midfielder Dwight Yorke has signed a new one-year deal to extend his career on Wearside.

The 36-year-old has committed his immediate future to the Black Cats after playing a major role in the club's return to the Barclays Premier League and their continued presence in it.

Manager Roy Keane told the club's official website, "Yorkie's experience on and off the pitch has been invaluable to us.

"He's a great character to have in the dressing room and around the training ground and he will have a part to play for us next season."

Yorke, who will celebrate his 37th birthday in November, joined Sunderland from Sydney FC in August 2006, days after Keane took over as manager.

His initial two-year deal expired earlier this week, but the manager was keen to retain his services and eventually got his way.

Yorke said: "It has been a tremendous two years for me at Sunderland. I have got to know the players and the staff and the fans have been great to me.

"In the end, it was a straightforward decision. I had one or two things to think about and I knew I needed to make a decision.

"Once the manager gave me the thumbs-up, it was easy to sign."

Yorke effectively becomes the club's first summer signing as Keane attempts to build on last season's achievement of staying in the top flight.

The Irishman wasted little time in announcing his intention to make a bigger impact this time around and is currently in the process of trying to land his latest targets.

However, he is convinced his former Manchester United team-mate's experience on and off the pitch will be invaluable.

Yorke, who briefly came out of international retirement to make an appearance as a substitute for Trinidad and Tobago against England earlier this month, is due back on Wearside next Friday for the start of pre-season training.

He said: "It will be my 20th pre-season - they definitely get harder."