Raymond Van Barneveld is set to bring the curtain down on his professional darts career at the end of 2019, and the 51-year old has been a terrific servant to the sport over the last 35 years. The Dutchman has five world titles to his name, as well as 29 PDC tournament successes under his belt, so will be aiming to end on a high. We take a look back at three memorable moments from his hugely successful time at the top.
📺 ON THE TELLY 📺
— Sky Sports Darts (@SkySportsDarts) March 6, 2019
2007 World Darts Championship Final
Van Barneveld’s clash with Phil Tay lor is generally considered to have been one the greatest matches of all-time, with the pair trading blows throughout. The Dutchman required a sudden death leg to overcome the 13-time world champion and claim his first PDC World Championship title.
The former BDO player found himself 3-0 down, and on course for a heavy defeat, before mounting one of the most memorable comebacks in the history of the game. The crowd were completely absorbed in this thrilling contest, and the two players could not be separated. Van Barneveld fired a total of 21 180s during this perfect performance, and unsurprisingly, he is always happy to reflect on this iconic night.
It was a watershed moment for the sport, and it also helped attract a new generation of fans. Very few World Championship finals have been able to match the excitement and drama of this truly memorable and pulsating contest, and ‘Barney’ will always be remembered for bringing a temporary end to Phil Taylor’s dominance of the sport.
It proved to be Van Barneveld’s last triumph in the World Championship, although he’s reached the final four on a number of occasions since. The tournament, now held at Alexandra Palace, will be his final assignment on the PDC Tour at the end of the year, and at the time of writing, he was priced at 80/1 in the darts betting news to produce a fairytale end to his career in North London.
It will soon be all over for Raymond van Barneveld.
The five-time world darts champion has announced his retirement plans.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) November 19, 2018
2009 World Darts Championship – Nine Darter
Van Barneveld made history at the 2009 PDC World Championships by becoming the first player to throw a nine-darter at the tournament. It took just 51 seconds to complete this remarkable feat, which occurred in the second leg of the sixth set during his clash with fellow countryman Jelle Klaasen. As well as writing his name into the history books, the Dutchman earned an additional £20,000 for this moment of magic, and declared himself “very proud” to have become the first player to record a nine-dart finish since the tournament’s inception.
The Dutchman went on to beat James Wade at the semi-final stage of the competition, before suffering a 7-1 defeat to Phil Taylor on January 4th.
2014 Premier League Champion
After a number of premature exits, 2014 was the year that Raymond Van Barneveld finally struck gold in the Premier League of Darts. He stunned reigning champion Michael Van Gerwen at the 02 Arena to secure the much-coveted trophy, and take home £150,000 of prize money.
Once again, he had to do it from behind, as he found himself 3-1 down during the early stages of this all-Dutch affair. He began to mount his comeback following the restart, securing a timely 180 finish to move ahead of his fellow countryman.
He held his nerve to throw a double 10 which helped him secure his maiden Premier League title. He admitted that “it means the world” to have finally broken his duct in the televised tournament.
Raymond Van Barneveld will be remembered as one of the best players of the modern era, and he has produced a number of memorable moments throughout his career. The 51-year old is a hugely popular figure among the darts fraternity and will be much-missed. His contributions have helped increase the popularity of the sport, and he has undoubtedly inspired the next generation of players to step up to the oche.