Van Barneveld confirms decision to reverse immediate retirement

Jamie Shaw in PDC Darts News 29 Mar 2019
Van Barneveld reacts to the Rotterdam ovation (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Raymond van Barneveld has confirmed he will play on until the end of the season despite announcing his immediate retirement on Thursday night.

The Dutch legend shocked the world of darts by announcing he would walk away from the sport immediately following a 7-1 defeat to Michael van Gerwen in his final Premier League appearance in Rotterdam last night.

That defeat came just 24 hours after another 7-1 drubbing at the hands of Daryl Gurney, which sealed his elimination from the competition at the halfway stage.

Just hours later, a statement from Van Barneveld's management was published on his official Twitter account, revealing the five-time World Champion has agreed to "take a couple of days to clear the mind and think about the future."

Now, the 51-year-old has announced he will continue to compete on the PDC circuit until the end of the season before finally calling time on his illustrious career.

In a statement released via the Professional Darts Corporation on Friday afternoon, Van Barneveld said: "In my private life there have been so many troubles, and as a dart player you try not to but you take all that with you on stage.

"I was humbled that I was given the chance to play in the Premier League this year and really wanted to show everybody the true Barney, but it was only glimpses that I could give.

"My personal problems got the better of me and I was always catching up to my opponents on stage. Yesterday all those emotions came together and I couldn't handle that at that moment.

"I felt ashamed on stage in front of my family, my friends and the Barney Army. I felt I let everyone down and that pain was very hard to deal with.

"In the heat of the moment I only wanted to never feel that again, but I realise that I should not speak out like that when I feel such raw emotion.

"I want to end my career at Alexandra Palace during one final World Championship.

"I hope people understand the difficult times my family and I have been going through and I need to get my head together.

"I will take a couple of days off for this and then try to compete as well as I can in the floor tournaments out of the spotlight in the coming weeks."

After dropping out of the world's top 32 following this year's UK Open, Barney climbed back to 30th in the Order of Merit by finishing runner-up in a Players Championship event earlier this month.

That run offered renewed hope in his quest to qualify for the remaining ranked majors this year, including December's World Championship - which has been the Dutchman's main target since initially announcing his retirement plans last November.

Van Barneveld is among the list of entries for Players Championship 9 & 10 in Barnsley and is set to make his return on April 6.


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Van Barneveld confirms decision to reverse immediate retirement

Raymond van Barneveld has confirmed he will play on until the end of the season despite announcing his immediate retirement on Thursday night.

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