Raymond van Barneveld reverses his early retirement decision and will play on in 2019

Raymond van Barneveld salutes the Rotterdam crowd after his final match (Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDc)

Raymond van Barneveld announced his retirement with immediate effect on Thursday night - but has reversed the decision less than 24 hours later.

The Dutch legend's final Premier League Darts campaign ended in disappointment this week as he suffered a relegation-sealing 7-1 defeat to Daryl Gurney on Wednesday before failing to bow out on a high 24 hours later against Michael van Gerwen on Judgement Night, again losing 7-1.

It brought to an end his 210-game, 14-season run in this tournament, but his intention had always been to bow out completely at the 2019/2020 World Championship.

However, despite the 10,000-strong Barney Army at the Rotterdam Ahoy Arena giving him rousing receptions before and after both games, the 51-year-old admitted he didn't feel "good enough" to qualify for the big televised majors or have the motivation and energy to keep trying having fallen well down the rankings.

After sleeping on his hasty and emotionally-fuelled decision, the 2014 Premier League champion, who also reached eight Play-Offs and fired in two nine-dart finishes (vs Peter Manley in 2006 and Terry Jenkins in 2010), Barney has decided to fight on after all in an attempt to play at the Alexandra Palace one last time.

In a statement on www.pdc.tv, he said: "For months my life has been a rollercoaster of emotions. 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."

Raymond van Barneveld roll of honour

PDC Televised Titles

  • 2006, 2007 UK Open
  • 2007 World Championship
  • 2007 Las Vegas Desert Classic
  • 2012 Grand Slam of Darts
  • 2014 Premier League
  • 2010, 2014, 2017, 2018 World Cup of Darts

Further Titles

  • 1998, 1999, 2003, 2005 Lakeside Championship
  • 2001, 2005 World Masters
  • 1995, 2001, 2003, 2004 Zuiderduin Masters
  • 2003, 2004 World Darts Trophy
  • 2003, 2004, 2006 International Darts League
  • 2007 Masters of Darts

2019 Premier League Darts Table

  1. Van Gerwen P 9 W 6 D 1 L 2 LegD +22 Pts 13
  2. Cross P 9 W 6 D 1 L 2 LegD +16 Pts 13
  3. Wade P 9 W 4 D 3 L 2 LegD +10 Pts 11
  4. Gurney P 9 W 5 D 1 L 3 LegD +2 Pts 11
  5. Suljovic P 9 W 4 D 2 L 3 LegD +2 Pts 10
  6. Price P 9 W 3 D 3 L 3 LegD +5 Pts 9
  7. Wright P 9 W 2 D 4 L 3 LegD -5 Pts 8
  8. Smith P 9 W 3 D 1 L 5 LegD -6 Pts 7
  9. Relegated: Van Barneveld P 9 W 1 D 2 L 6 LegD -22 Pts 4

Judgement Night results

Judgement Night - Thursday March 28
Rotterdam Ahoy
TV Channel: Sky Sports (1900 GMT)

  • Daryl Gurney 7-3 Mensur Suljovic
  • Peter Wright 5-7 Gerwyn Price
  • Rob Cross 7-4 Jeffrey de Zwaan
  • Raymond van Barneveld 1-7 Michael van Gerwen
  • James Wade 7-4 Michael Smith


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