DARTS legend Russ Bray shocked fans when he announced his retirement towards the end of 2023.
The former player and famous referee has been involved in the sport for nearly 30 years.
Who is Russ Bray?
Russ Bray is a darts referee.
He was born on June 22, 1957, in Essex.
Bray works for the Professional Darts Corporation and is often referred to as "The Voice" thanks to his unique refereeing style.
What did Russ Bray do before darts?
Prior to becoming a referee, Bray was a darts player.
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Bray was a county player for Hertfordshire and played on the pro circuit.
He also won competitions in Norway and Finland with late sports star Eric Bristow.
The star first became a referee when he had to step in to cover for a caller who failed to show for a county match.
He was then contracted by the Professional Darts Corporation and made his official debut at the World Matchplay in Blackpool in 1996.
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Before embarking on a career in darts, Bray was a traffic cop.
Bray has previously stated that he saw "gruesome" things during his time working in the traffic police in London.
He told the Happy Hour Podcast in 2022: "The main thing you were dealing with was accidents. I was in there for 12 years as a traffic cop.
"In my time there, I dealt with about five fatals a year. That’s about 60 fatals".
He added: "I'm talking about the most gruesome things ever here.
"But it's part of your job. I don't dwell on it, I don't dwell on anything".
When is Russ Bray retiring?
Bray's retirement was announced in November 2023.
The Professional Darts Competition confirmed the news on X, formerly known as Twitter, with a video of Bray.
The post read: "Darts legend Russ Bray will bring an end to his full-time refereeing career after the 2023/24 World Darts Championship Final.
"Russ will take up a new role as PDC Ambassador in 2024, and will continue to referee on the World Series stage".
In the video shared to social media, Bray added: "30 years in, old age pensioner now.
"We've got some cracking youngsters coming through so, for me personally, I think it's now time to turn around and say 'let the youngsters come through'.
"I've had a magnificent career so far and hopefully I can carry on in the background."
The2023/24 World Darts Championship Final is scheduled to end on January 3, 2024.
The event begins on December 15, with Luke Humphries one of the favourites to win.
Who is Russ Bray's wife?
Bray's wife is called Sue Bray.
The couple live together in Soham, Cambridgeshire, but keep their relationship out of the spotlight.
Does Russ Bray have any children?
It has been reported that Russ and Sue share four children.
Bray's eldest son is called Neil and one of his daughters is called Michelle.
It's thought that he has two sons, two daughters, and a step-son.
Russ did briefly talk about being a parent during his 2022 Happy Hour Podcast interview.
While discussing his past career as a traffic cop and the horrific accidents he witnessed, Bray said: "If something happens, it happens. If it's grief, you grieve it.
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"You've got to push on. I've still got to live my life, I've still got to be happy".
He added: "I had kids at home who didn't want to see me moping around."
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