The date was March 23, 2006. Exactly sixteen years ago today, Raymond van Barneveld announced his PDC arrival with a sensational nine-darter during his Premier League clash against Peter Manley.
Van Barneveld etched his name into darting history at the Bournemouth International Centre, following up consecutive maximums with a majestic 141 checkout, to become the first player in Premier League history to land the magical nine-dart finish.
The Dutchman ran out an emphatic 8-3 winner against ‘One Dart’, before he locked horns with his old adversary Phil Taylor in the evening’s highly-anticipated showpiece – their first televised meeting since Barney joined the PDC in February.
Van Barneveld recovered from 7-4 adrift to claim a share of the spoils against the 16-time world champion, a night he described as one of his most memorable moments.
“That night I was due to play Phil Taylor in the last game, and I think I was so focused on that match that I was relaxed against Peter. Suddenly because of the relaxed feeling I hit the nine-darter,” he admitted.
“When I left the venue that night with my manager, there were about 50 fans at a kebab shop who started singing my name and bought me a kebab! That was fantastic, a great night.”
The five-time world champion has contributed to a litany of magical moments throughout his career, forging a reputation as the sport’s nine-dart king during the infancy of his PDC career.
Van Barneveld struck the first two PDC World Championship nine-darters in 2009 and 2010 respectively, following up his exploits against compatriot Jelle Klaasen by repeating the feat against Brendan Dolan 12 months later.
In April 2010, RvB registered his fourth televised nine-darter during a Premier League showdown against Terry Jenkins, before adding to his tally against Denis Ovens at the 2010 World Matchplay in July.
Image Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC