The news of PDC legend Raymond van Barneveld’s impending retirement was a surprise to many – but not to Phil Taylor.

Taylor, the 16-time world champion, has often named Barney as one of his greatest adversaries. The now-retired Stoke thrower is much closer to his Dutch counterpart than in their PDC heyday. And there was plenty of empathy on show when he discussed how van Barneveld will see out a magnificent career.

“I wasn’t one bit surprised, I knew. I said to him, you’re getting to retire now bud,” Taylor revealed in a Live Darts interview.

“It does hurt you, it was bad enough for me but he’s travelled twice as much.

“He’s in his fifties now and it becomes harder, you’ve got young lads coming through that are aggressive and who really don’t care who Barney is.

“He can walk away now, he’s earned a lot of money and he can earn a cracking living just doing personal appearances.”

Before his final year in the game, van Barneveld has the 2019 PDC World Championship to navigate. And Taylor has suggested that a fine Ally Pally run could be on the cards.

“I can’t say whether it’s the right or wrong decision really, I think if I was Barney I would wait until after the World Championship and maybe if he wins the World Championship then re-evaluate it a little bit,” he said.

“He has got the game to win it? One hundred per cent. But whether he’s got the mental strength at the minute, no because he’s not right.

“If he goes into the World Championship and smashes it in the First Round, beware, because then he’ll think ‘I can win this’, and that’s when Barney is at his best.”

Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

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Author: Ed McCosh