We are counting down the days until the start of the William Hill PDC World Darts Championship here at The Sportsman and we've decided to head down memory lane in light of Raymond van Barneveld announcing his retirement date earlier this week and take a nostalgic look back at his only PDC World Darts Championship victory.
The Dutch thrower may have only tasted victory once in the PDC showpiece event to add to his four BDO World title wins, but his 2007 success will go down as the greatest final in the history of the sport as 'Barney' managed to beat Phil 'The Power' Taylor 7-6 in an epic showdown.
Taylor had already amassed 13 world titles with Barney possessing four to his name, so the 2007 final at the Circus Tavern, Purfleet saw the best two darts players in the world do battle in what turned out to be a match decided on a sudden death leg after three hours of sensational entertainment.
Both dominant 6-0 winners of their semi-finals (van Barneveld beat Andy Jenkins, Taylor beat Andy Hamilton), Taylor started favourite and the Stoke man stormed into a 3-0 victory and it looked for all money that 'The Power' would cruise to a fourth world title on the bounce.
Van Barneveld didn't let Taylor ease clear like he had been accustomed to do when in front and the Dutchman clawed his way back to 4-3 down in sets as they headed into the second half of a pulsating final. With the excitable crowd adding a sensational backdrop to two warriors duelling on the oche, van Barneveld restored parity at 5-5, so the game effectively went into a best-of-three sets shootout.
The Dutch star grabbed the next set and found himself on the brink of victory at 2-1 in the 12th set, but while sitting pretty on double 12 he had to watch in awe as Taylor banged in a glorious double 16 with his final dart to even it up at 2-2 in the penultimate set. Taylor eased to the fifth leg and the match was tied at six sets apiece.
Now, the next half-an-hour served up some of the most sensational nail-biting darts ever witnessed as van Barneveld missed a host of chances to land the winning double, and Taylor held in there to take it to a sudden death leg with the pair tied at six sets each and five legs each.
Van Barneveld won the all-important 'nearest the bull' shootout to earn the honour to throw first, but Taylor was ready to fight for glory as he smashed home a glorious 180 in his first three arrows. But, the Dutch star 'Barney' showed his class with a delightful maximum of his own and managed to leave himself double 20 for the title and having missed his first dart at tops he finally bagged the winning double and celebrated in stunning fashion.
What a final!!!
Watch the sensational highlights of Raymond van Barneveld's 7-6 victory over Phil Taylor here: