Emotional scenes as Barney comes to terms with the dying light 5 months ago

Emotional scenes as Barney comes to terms with the dying light

'I knew I was relegated and I felt ashamed'

Darts legend Raymond van Barneveld has announced his retirement from the sport with immediate effect.

The Dutchman was due to retire at the end of the year but a crushing 7-1 to Michael van Gerwen on Thursday night confirmed his relegation from the Premier League and Van Barneveld decided not to wait any longer before bowing out from the game.

The 51-year-old said he felt 'ashamed' of his uncharacteristically poor performance.

“Yesterday I don’t know where it came from, I played really bad, I lost 7-1 so today I knew I was relegated and I felt ashamed,” he 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.”

“I don’t have the energy to start from scratch again,” he added.

“I can say to myself ‘OK Ray, take some time off’, but there is no time because at the end of the year is the world championship. It is good to see everyone loves you but they don’t have one single clue what I’m going through.”

The interview, from PDC, was an extremely tough watch as a legend of the game comes to terms with the fading of the light. He bows out, but he bows out a legend having given it everything he had.

It was an emotional evening all round for Barney as before the game, aware of the impending gloom, he responded to Barney's army's roars and cheers with tears.

Thanks Barney, you were one of the best ones.