Darts legend Raymond van Barneveld has blamed ‘raw emotion’ for announcing an immediate retirement from the sport in the wake of a loss.
Following a 7-1 Premier League defeat to Michael van Gerwen, the five-time world champion claimed the match would be his last.
The Dutchman has today moved to clear up any confusion after releasing a statement through the PDC:
“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.”
The 51-year-old opened up about going through a ‘rollercoaster of emotions’ and revealed how personal issues played a part in his hasty post-match declaration.
“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. he admitted.
“My personal problems got the better of me and I was always catching up to my opponents on stage. Yesterday all those emotions came together and I couldn’t handle that at that moment.
He added “I felt ashamed on stage in front of my family, my friends and the Barney Army.
“I hope people understand the difficult times my family and I have been going through and I need to get my head together.”
The man affectionately nicknamed ‘Barney’ confirmed that he will go back to his original plan of retiring after the 2019 PDC World Darts Championship, starting in December.
“I want to end my career at Alexandra Palace during one final World Championship.”
Following the loss against his compatriot in Rotterdam, Van Barneveld told Sky Sports that he was calling time on his a career, hinting the his personal problems were a factor in his decision.
“For me, I’ve made a decision, I’m done now,” the 51-year-old said.
He continued: “I don’t want the pain anymore. It’s good to see that everyone loves you but they don’t have one single clue what I’m going through.”
Van Barneveld will leave the game having won four world championships under the BDO banner and one with the PDC, as well as a number of other titles.
A dip in form in recent years has seen him decide to call time on a glittering career.