RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD has revealed he fell into depression after his last appearance at Ally Pally ended in embarrassment – but his new girlfriend gave him renewed focus.
Holland’s five-time world darts champion was humbled by American outsider Darin Young in the first round of the PDC World Darts Championships in December 2019.
That loss really hurt and it ruined his Christmas two years ago and as he trundled out of the exit door, the crestfallen star told reporters: "I’ll hate myself every single day."
But rejuvenated Barney is beginning to smile again thanks to his new love after he divorced wife Silvia after more than 25 years of marriage.
He has settled down with Londoner Julia and the pair have grown stronger over the past two years of the pandemic.
The 54-year-old dramatically quit the sport in January 2020 but then did a U-Turn later that year when Covid ruined his chance of doing the exhibition circuit.
To his credit, having relinquished his Tour card, he secured a spot via the 2021 Q School and will now play Lourence Ilagan of the Philippines in the first round on Monday evening – with the winner facing Rob Cross in the second round.
Barney, the 2007 PDC world darts champion, told SunSport about his troubles last year, saying: “I was convinced I’d have a good run in the 2020 world championships even though the whole year had been poor.
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