Raymond van Barneveld announces retirement from darts
'I've made a decision - I'm done now. I don't want the pain anymore.'
By Joe Shread
Last Updated: 29/03/19 10:19am
Raymond van Barneveld announced his retirement on Thursday night, only for his manager to reveal shortly afterwards the Dutchman is still to finalise his decision.
Van Barneveld was due to quit from darts after the PDC World Championships at the end of the year, but seemingly brought forward his departure in an emotional interview with Sky Sports after his exit from the Premier League of Darts.
Barney was beaten 7-1 by fellow Dutchman Michael van Gerwen on Thursday in Rotterdam, and following his defeat he said: "I've made a decision - I'm done now. I don't want the pain anymore.
"It's good to see that everyone loves you, but they don't have one single clue what I'm going through. It's pain every single week for the last three or four years.
"There's never a feeling of winning the World Cup with Michael, feeling like 'hey Ray, we're back'.
"Two weeks I got in a final and still got beat by Adrian Lewis. There's no light. I try, I try, I try; but I'm OK with this decision. I'm relieved."
Around an hour after quitting live on TV, his manager revealed the decision may have been hasty.
Using Barney's twitter account, Jaco van Bodegom said: "Raymond had had a very tough two nights and in all his emotions he said he was gonne retire right away.
Raymond had had a very tough 2 nights and in all his emotions he said he was gonne retire right away. I just spoke with him and we agreed it is better to take a couple of days to clear the mind and think about the future. I hope everyone understand. Kind Regards Jaco van Bodegom pic.twitter.com/jLYgUdAPD3— Raymond v Barneveld (@Raybar180) March 28, 2019
"I just spoke with him and we agreed it is better to take a couple of days to clear the mind and think about the future. I hope everyone understand. Kind Regards."
Van Barneveld, who won five world titles during an illustrious 32-year career, said he felt "ashamed" of his performances in his native Netherlands this week.
His thrashing at the hands of Van Gerwen followed a 7-1 reverse to Daryl Gurney on Wednesday, and van Barneveld said: "Rotterdam is always good to me, but I hit nothing.
"Yesterday I played really bad against Daryl. Today I knew I was in relegation. I felt ashamed. Five-times world champion and I'm thinking, 'do I deserve this? I don't think so'.
"But it is reality. I don't have the energy to start from scratch again. I'm not good enough.
"I can say to myself, 'OK Ray, take some time out'. But there is no time because at the end of the year we want to go to the World Championships. I can't go back from scratch because I'm suffering every single week."
Michael van Gerwen, who was Barney's companion for three of his four World Cup of Darts titles, took to Twitter to say: "Great two nights for myself in Rotterdam but the moment was about Raymond.
"Happy I kept my focus and got the job done. But now I like to say thank you to Raymond for everything he did for Dutch darts."
Van Barneveld will go down in history as one of the most successful players of his generation. He won four BDO World Championship titles before switching to the PDC in 2006.
He added another world title to his collection in 2007, and also won the Grand Slam of Darts in 2012 and the Premier League of Darts in 2014.