Raymond van Barneveld announces retirement after Rotterdam defeat

2019 Unibet Premier League Darts

An emotional Raymond Van Barneveld bowed out of the Premier League – and the sport – with a 7-1 defeat to Michael Van Gerwen in front of his adoring home fans in Holland.

The five-time world champion had been due to retire at the end of the season but – after losing in Rotterdam on Thursday – decided to quit immediately after signing off his 210th and last appearance with throws of 180 and 140 on his final two trips to the oche.

“Yesterday I don’t know where it came from, I played really bad, I lost 7-1 so today I knew I was in relegation and I felt ashamed,” Van Barneveld told Sky Sports.

“Five-time world champion and I was thinking ‘Do I deserve this? I don’t think so’ but it is reality. I’m not good enough.

“For me I’ve made a decision I am done now. I don’t want the pain any more. It’s pain every single week for the last three or four years.

“I’m OK with this decision. I’m relieved. I’m done.”

He stood to acknowledge his home crowd as the pyrotechnics lit up around him but fireworks of a different kind followed as James Wade won six legs from the last seven to move into third in the table with a 7-4 win over Michael Smith.

Second-placed Rob Cross recovered from 3-1 down to beat Jeffrey De Zwaan 7-4 with eight maximums, with Gerwen Price defeating Peter Wright 7-5 and Daryl Gurney sweeping aside Mensour Suljovic.

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