Raymond van Barneveld is a darting icon and has graced the sport as a professional for over 30 years. Alongside Phil Taylor, he’s become one of the most recognised household names that the sport has to offer and has enjoyed a lavish career with plenty of ups and a fair few downs.

He’s been involved with classics in every decade that he’s been throwing while being a firm fan favourite. With news that he is set to make his big-stage PDC return this week at the UK Open, we’ve taken a look at some of Barney’s greatest ever moments in front of the board.

Van Barneveld vs Peter Manley, 2006 Premier League

Van Barneveld performed brilliantly in the 2006 Premier League, but he really showed his class when throwing against Peter Manley. Barney become the first-ever player to hit a nine-darter in the Premier League when he sunk back-to-back 180s before checking out the 141. The atmosphere was electric and the commentary from Sid Waddell is simply unmatched. It was an incredible way to announce his arrival into the PDC. Barney even managed to repeat the feat against Terry Jenkins a few years after.

2006 UK Open

This was a tournament that was full of many firsts for Van Barneveld. He had only just recently moved to the PDC and was on the hunt for his first televised major. He was already a four-time Lakeside World Champion but was yet to translate that into the PDC. Barney reached the quarter-finals of the UK Open before being drawn against Phil Taylor. Taylor was already an 11-time PDC World Champion at this point and was the face of the darting world. Taylor led for much of the match but Barney dug in to win a last-leg decider against the Power. This was Barney’s first victory over Taylor, and it certainly wasn’t his last. The Dutchman went on to beat Barrie Bates in the final to lift his first PDC major title.

2007 World Darts Championship

This was the big one. A day that rocked the darting world. It’s a tournament that is etched firmly in the memory of many darts fans and is at the very top of the pile when thinking of Barney’s televised career. It was Van Barneveld’s debut PDC World Championship, and he entered the tournament as the 32nd seed. He reached round two where he faced world number one, Colin Lloyd. Van Barneveld survived match darts and progressed all the way to the final where he would face Phil Taylor.

History was made at the Circus Tavern where Taylor rocketed into a 3-0 lead and looked certain to clinch the title. It was here where Barney turned on the style, hitting 21 180s and beating Taylor in a deciding leg. Van Barneveld had shocked the world – a moment that will never be forgotten.

Van Barneveld v Michael van Gerwen, 2016 World Darts Championship

Barney came into this fixture as the underdog as MVG was odds-on favourite to secure his second PDC World Championship title. Barney wasn’t hitting the heights that he had done in previous years while Michael van Gerwen was on top of the darting world. Many believed that the Green Machine couldn’t be beaten but Barney rolled back the years to produce an absolute classic. An unforgettable match saw the pair thump in huge averages before Barney sunk double 18 to win 4-3. Wayne Mardle was on commentary for the fixture, stating that it was “the best match that you were ever likely to witness.” It was a thriller in which darting fan saw Raymond van Barneveld back to his very best.

2021 Players Championship 3

Barney was a busy man in February this year. He rolled his sleeves up in Q School as he became a professional once again. It didn’t take him long to return to the spotlight either. Just three days after becoming pro once more he won the Players Championship 3, beating Rob Cross, Mervyn King and Joe Cullen along the way. It’s a fairy-tale return to the PDC for Barney, with the maestro even saying that “it’s the most focussed he’s been in years.” After a dismal farewell year and a period off the oche, Barney is back and hungrier than ever.

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