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Raymond Van Barneveld has announced his intention to retire from professional darts following the 2019-20 William Hill World Darts Championhip.
The 51-year-old has been crowned world champion on five occasions but he has decided to play just one more year on tour, bringing the curtain down on his career after the World Championships in January 2020.
"All good things come to an end," Van Barneveld said in a statement.
"For over 35 years I have been competing at the top of darts. With high peaks and deep lows . With 5 beautiful World Titles and many other trophies I have won. I have seen many countries and met a lot of people. This sport brought me everything I could hope for and I will always be grateful for that.
"But I have decided that 2019 will be my final year as a professional darts player. I hope to see all my fans again next year to be able to say goodbye and then put my darts down.
"Time takes everybody out. Time is undefeated - Rocky Balboa."
Van Barneveld won the world championship at Lakeside in 1998 1999, 2003 and 2005 before moving to the PDC circuit, going on to win 29 titles, including the UK Open four PDC World Cup of Darts, the Grand Slam of Darts and the Premier League.
"Next year is going to be my 35th year of playing darts at the highest level and it’s going to be my last year," Van Barneveld told The Darts Show.
"I noticed in myself that I can’t keep up anymore, I know what I can do but it’s just not been happening for the past three or four years apart from winning the World Cup with Michael [van Gerwen].
"I'm not winning tournaments anymore, I don’t know why but a lot of things have happened in my private life and I’ve also noticed that my body isn’t feeling 100 percent anymore - I don’t have the drive, motivation or fitness to carry on.
"I'm a winner, that’s what I do – I lift trophies but I can’t do it anymore. Maybe there are still a couple of titles left in me and that would be amazing but I can’t do this every week anymore.
"I don’t want my career to fizzle out which is why I’ve made the decision to retire at the end of next year."
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Image: Getty Images/Bryn Lennon
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