By Phil Lanning
LEGEND Kevin Painter has ended his professional career with immediate effect after failing to regain a PDC Tour card.
The Artist, who famously lost an epic tie-break world final to Phil Taylor in 2004, quit the sport after a disappointing Q School display.
On the last day, Painter lost 6-5 to David Ladley in the second round, after missing seven match darts.
He then said on Twitter: “Well, I think my last game today is a message from the lord above, could not lose that if I tried another 100 times.
“He’s saying Kev, time to retire now pal, you have had a great career, just go enjoy the money you’ve earned as a pro, last 25 years and relax. I have to agree, I’ll do exhibitions and chill.”
But Painter, 53, was quick to dismiss any suggestion that it was a reaction to losing out in Milton Keynes.
He said: “It’s nothing to do with rushing into a decision just because Q-School ends, people around me know I’ve been talking about it for a while now, I’m not unhappy, in fact the opposite, I feel a weight of expectation lifted, I will enjoy the fruits of what my ability has given me.”
In 2004 he lost 7-6 to Phil Taylor in the World Championship final, regarded as the best in history until the Taylor versus Raymond van Barneveld classic three years later.
Painter won a major title in 2011 with his victory at the Players Championship Finals. He also won five PDC ranking tournaments.