Raymond Van Barneveld’s dream of a fairy tail end to his prestigious career are over following a shock 3-1 defeat to Darin Young in round 1.
This continues the running theme of the opening 3 days of competition where many big names and top seeds have been beaten by the underdogs.
Barneveld joins last years Runner-up Michael Smith and 2018 World Champion Rob Cross in being some of the big names to crash out at this early stage.
The Dutchman was looking to end his career by adding a 6th world title to his impressive resume.
‘Barney’ started his career 30 years ago, suffering a 3-0 defeat on his World Championship debut at Lakeside.
3 decades and 5 world titles later, Barney couldn’t replicate the form that made him world number one and Phil Taylor’s arch nemesis.
He showed flashes of brilliance in the contest and did average an impressive 100.2 in the second set.
Unfortunately for the crowd, the Dutchman’s fine form was short lived and a plethora of wayward darts meant that Darin Young reached round two round for the second time in his career.
I couldn’t handle the pressure of my final tournament. Maybe I wanted it too bad. Thanks @OfficialPDC @SkySportsDarts @rtl7darts @WilliamHill for all the honours and nice words. My fans inspired me to do great things but I let them down. My love for you will never end. pic.twitter.com/PkZSSZlmlc— Raymond v Barneveld (@Raybar180) 15 December 2019
The 52 year old was deflated following his defeat “‘I played really bad. ‘I was surprised, nothing more. Darin played really good, all credit to him. ‘I lost first round, in my disaster year. I will never forgive myself, never ever.’
Van Barneveld had announced his immediate retirement following a Premier League loss to Michael van Gerwen in Rotterdam in March, but reversed that decision 24 hours later and agreed to play until this months World Championship.
Despite continual support from the Alexandra Palace crowd who sang ‘Barney Army’ in classic fashion, he was far from his best against Young and after being unable to finish from 72, the Dutchman was eliminated as his 46-year-old opponent hit double top.
Raymond Van Barneveld will always be remembered as one of the greats of the game and his legacy has inspired many of the Dutch talent on the circuit.