Great Britain

Raymond van Barneveld plans to shelve retirement plans and return to darts

BARNEY IS BACK

RAYMOND van Barneveld has performed a U-Turn on his retirement – and will try to make a comeback.

As SunSport reported on September 12, the Dutchman has been getting restless away from the professional tour.

And the lack of the lucrative exhibition circuit due to Covid-19 has dried up his annual revenue stream.

The five-time world darts champion has announced he intends to play in the 2021 PDC Qualifying School and earn a PDC Tour Card.

The 53-year-old’s manager had approached darts boss Barry Hearn about a possible invitational slot following the return of Stephen Hendry to snooker.

But that was flatly turned down and Barney was told he would have to qualify through Q School.

He told Dutch TV: “It's very simple. I miss it terribly.

“I think the decision (to retire) was the right one, but I have now had a lot of time to think about it. That’s when I realised I’m really wrong.

"Because I haven't been myself for the past two or three years, you don't always make the right decisions.

"Your head is haunted and you're a nightmare for everyone, but that's different now. I'm looking forward to it."

Only sixteen-time world darts champion Phil Taylor has won more darts crowns than Van Barneveld, who moved over from the BDO to the PDC in 2006.

He was left heartbroken when he lost 3-1 to American Darin Young in the first round of the 2020 PDC World Darts Championship, saying: “The Demons won again. I cannot live with myself right now.”

Barney has found love again in Londoner Julia as he is going through a divorce from wife Silvia after 25 years of marriage.

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