Five-time world darts champion Raymond van Barneveld has announced his retirement from the sport, ending a 35-year career.
The 51-year-old wrote on Twitter that 2019 would be his final year as a professional player. His career progression from postman in The Hague to sporting millionaire blazed a trail for a generation of Dutch darts players, including Roland Scholten, Vincent van der Voort and Michael van Gerwen.
‘For over 35 years I have been competing at the top of darts. With high peaks and deep lows,’ he wrote.
‘This sport brought me everything I could hope for and I will always be grateful for that. But I have decided that 2019 will be my final year as a professional darts player.’
All good things come to an end…. pic.twitter.com/oiDnS2Xh93
— Raymond v Barneveld (@Raybar180) November 19, 2018
Van Barneveld, known on the circuit as Barney, won his first world title in 1998 and defended it successfully the following year, prompting him to deliver the immortal line: ‘The postman always wins twice’.
After two further world titles in 2003 and 2005 he joined a group of top players that broke away from the British Darts Organisation to form the Professional Darts Corporation, which organised its own world championship. Van Barneveld won the event once, in 2007.
In 1999 he was made a knight in the Order of Orange-Nassau.
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