Raymond van Barneveld has confirmed that he has terminated his Professional Darts Corporation membership in an emotional message on social media.
The five-time world champion announced in November 2018 that he would retire after the 2020 World Championship and his final appearance at Alexandra Palace culminated in a disappointing 3-1 defeat against American veteran Darin Young in the first round.
Although Van Barneveld continuously insisted that he would walk away from the game following this year’s showpiece, handing in his PDC Tour Card is the final and definitive step to ending his career in competitive darts, as he will no longer be able to compete on the Pro Tour circuit.
The doyen of Dutch darts has enjoyed one of the most influential careers in the sport. Phil Taylor is the only man to have lifted more World Championship titles than Barney, whilst the 52-year-old has been a trailblazer for Dutch darts – inspiring a new generation of talent.
Van Barneveld has won 26 major televised titles and recorded five televised nine-dart finishes during his illustrious career, although as well as his extensive trophy haul, his legacy will also be centred around his universal popularity which saw him adored by his legion of fans in the ‘Barney Army’.
In a social media message posted on Friday, the Dutchman wrote: “Thank you dart fans all around the world for your support for all these years, but like I said earlier ‘All Good Things Come To An End’. I wish the PDC, all their staff and all the players a Wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year.”
Van Barneveld then shared an image of his official termination later addressed to PDC Chief Executive Matt Porter, which read: “It is with pain in my heart that I write to you this official letter. I want to terminate my membership of the Professional Darts Corporation as of January 1st 2020.”
“I have had many years of joy and also some with too many losses and now it’s time to retire. I have tried my best to be a great ambassador of the sport and therefore the PDC.
“I also tried to inspire a younger generation to pick up a set of darts and join our beautiful game. Not only in the Netherlands but all around the world. I want to thank you and everyone at the PDC for helping me and supporting me throughout my career.
“We shared so many stories which I will always cherish. I hope that the PDC will continue to grow and flourish like it is at the moment. It makes me proud knowing I have been part of this journey of darts. All the best.”
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