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Darts legend Van Barneveld performs 180 on retirement decision

He was eliminated from the Premier League courtesy of two thumping defeats in Rotterdam

 Van Barneveld is a five-time world champion.
Van Barneveld is a five-time world champion.

Updated at 13.09

RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD has reversed his decision to retire from darts with immediate effect and recommitted to his initial plan of bowing out at the 2019-20 PDC World Championships.

After he was eliminated from the Premier League courtesy of two thumping defeats in Rotterdam, the five-time world champion cut an emotional figure as he announced he would bring an immediate end to his illustrious career.

However, Van Barneveld’s manager soon suggested that decision had been made in haste and the 51-year-old Dutchman has now acknowledged he was too quick to make such a call.

In a statement released through the PDC (Professional Darts Corporation) on Friday, Van Barneveld explained his u-turn, referencing the impact of a series of problems in his private life.

“For months my life has been a rollercoaster of emotions,” said Van Barneveld. ”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 [Thursday] 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.

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“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.”

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