Luke Littler: All you need to know about darts sensation

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Luke Littler: All you need to know about darts sensation

Luke Littler is a household name and fan favourite after his storming run to the final of the 2024 World Darts Championship, aged just 16.

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The teenager is continuing to thrill crowds across the country in the Premier League Darts, where he is battling with Luke Humphries, Michael van Gerwen and more to reach ‘Finals Night’.

Here’s all you need to know about the new sporting star.

Where is Luke Littler from?

Littler spent his early years in Runcorn but now lives in nearby Warrington – a town between Liverpool and Manchester.

How old is he?

Littler was born on January 21, 2007 – making him 17-years-old.

He captured attention across the globe at just 16 when he stormed to the final of the 2024 World Darts Championship.

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‘School in the morning!’ Luke Littler was loving the Ally Pally crowd’s chant during his incredible debut in the World Darts Championship

When did Littler start playing darts?

Littler first picked up a set of darts when he was just 18 months old.

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Ahead of their last-16 meeting at the Alexandra Palace, Luke Littler proves he’s always been a fan of Raymond van Barneveld! Credit:@LukeTheNuke180

He began training at the St Helens Darts Academy at the age of nine, under the watchful eye of co-founder Karl Holden.

“He was good when he was nine years old,” Holden said. “When he got to 10, when we ran the darts academy, we had a rule, to play on stage you had to be over 15. We had to change that for Luke because of his ability, he was just unbelievable.

“He was playing U21s when he was 10 because he was simply too good. He’s not just started playing good at the World Championship, he’s been playing darts for a while and got better and better every year. He wants to win, loves to win and you see him on stage, enjoying himself and just loving it, being a great darts player.

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Will Luke Littler be crowned world champion? The darting sensation put together this incredible nine-darter when he was 14 (Credit: JDC)

“We’ve had over a thousand kids at the academy over the years. Some play well for a few years then leave, some don’t progress as much as they expected, but Luke’s just shocked us.”

What’s his nickname?

Littler’s official nickname is ‘The Nuke’. The moniker is emblazoned on the back of his purple and yellow shirt.

Michael van Gerwen mischievously dubbed him ‘Kebab Boy’ after Littler jokingly said he liked to celebrate victory with a greasy snack…

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Luke Littler becomes the youngest player to qualify for the last 16 of the World Darts Championship, but will he celebrate with his trademark celebratory kebab?

What’s Littler’s walk-on song?

Littler thrills fans by swaggering out on stage to ‘Greenlight’ by Pitbull.

The teenager has said a trip to Wrestlemania 33 in Florida – where he “sung his head off” hearing the hit as a 10-year-old – inspired his song choice.

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Luke Littler was greeted by the Warrington mascot during his walk-on at Ally Pally

A natural showman, Littler seems to relish the big stage, whether it’s stoking the crowd or winding up his rivals…

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Luke Littler jokingly starts searching for his dart that flew above double 20…

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Luke Littler missed a fist-bump from Michael van Gerwen to leave him awkwardly hanging in February

And he’s not averse to sampling fellow competitors’ walk-on routines, too…

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Luke Littler enjoyed The Asp’s walk-on in Manchester ahead of their semi-final match on Night 10 of the Premier League

Littler’s current world ranking and prize money

Littler entered the 2024 World Darts Championship ranked 164th in the world – and would have been catapulted to ninth had he beaten Humphries.

He’s currently 25th in the PDC Order of Merit, which is based on prize money won over a two-year period from ranking tournaments, and crucially determines the line-up for several major tournaments over the calendar year.

According to the PDC rankings, Littler has so far banked £303,500.

Humphries, Van Gerwen and Michael Smith are the current top three.

What’s Littler won so far?

A 12-year-old Littler won the England Youth Grand Prix in 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic put a halt on all sports.

In 2021, he won the England Open youth title and notched up his first seniors title at the Irish Open. In the same year, Littler punched in a nine-darter at the JDC MVG Masters tournament.

In 2022, Littler averaged 121.86 in one of his matches as he starred at the WDF Europe Cup Youth, where he won gold in the three men’s competitions (singles, team and overall). That performance saw him selected by England for a youth tournament where he also struck gold.

Littler won the Junior World Championship at the end of the year, and further youth titles came in 2023 – including the PDC World Youth Championship.

But he went mainstream at Ally Pally during a sensational run at the 2024 World Darts Championship.

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Take a look back at the breathtaking debut from Luke Littler as the teenager made history at the World Darts Championship

A 106.12 average saw Littler thrash Christian Kist in the first round, and the teenager suddenly earning worldwide attention saw off Brendan Dolan and Rob Cross in his breakout tournament, only to lose a thrilling final 7-4 to Luke Humphries.

The attention did not appear to faze him, because Littler swiftly won his first PDC senior title in his debut event on the Tour at the Bahrain Darts Masters – hitting a nine-darter against Nathan Aspinall in the process.

Littler is this year competing in Players Championship events, which run to October 31. He made his debut in Wigan on February 12 – and promptly hit a nine-darter.

The youngster has also made waves on the European Tour, winning both the Belgian Darts Open and Austrian Darts Open, after which his vanquished final opponent declared him a “generational talent”..

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Luke Littler hits a sensational nine-darter against Rob Cross in the European Tour final

What darts does he use?

The World Championship finalist uses his own set of darts manufactured by sponsors Target. They’re a pixel grip, which tend to be expensive compared to normal darts with longer 45mm points.

He uses the No 6 K Flex in 26mm, which makes the arrows an all-in-one system so they don’t pop off when he holds a bunch of flights.

Littler stands in a standard position, holding his darts with his thumb, finger and middle finger, with the point lying on his forefinger.

The teenager uses longer points so that when the darts sits in the board there’s more room of scoring a maximum or 140.

What football team does Littler support?

As well as following rugby league side Warrington Wolves, Littler is a big Manchester United fan.

He was given the red-carpet treatment at the start of the 2024, meeting legendary former manager Sir Alex Ferguson, and recently ran the rule over his favourite former United players, including David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo.

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Darts sensation Luke Littler has some tough decisions to make about his favourite Manchester United players in ‘Winner Stays On’

And he’s tried to teach the current crop a thing or two at the oche…

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Can Manchester United’s Harry Maguire or Christian Eriksen beat Luke Littler in the darts challenge?!

What happened with Littler in Liverpool?!

Littler had expected a hostile reception due to his footballing allegiance when the Premier League Darts tournament rolled into Liverpool.

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Luke Littler was quick to remind Liverpool fans the score in the Merseyside derby..

But he cheekily responded to the crowd’s boos by reminding them of Everton’s Merseyside derby win the previous night.

Revelling in the atmosphere, Littler duly secured his third nightly win of the season to move five points clear at the top of the table.

What do people say about him?

Phil Taylor: “I like his attitude towards the game, I like it because he’s got that little bit of needle when he gets beat. Some people call it cocky, some people call it arrogance, it’s not, it’s nothing to do with that. The lad knows his ability, he knows how good he is and he knows he can get better.”

Michael van Gerwen: “Luke has a very bright future ahead of him. We all know that, but you still want to stop him, and you have to do the right things against him. His scoring power is immense. Do I have to chase him? He has to chase me still. I’m about 150 tournaments in front of him, so good luck to him.”

Michael Smith: “Everyone’s fallen in love with him. He’s even bigger than Phil Taylor who won 16 world titles, Luke is the most popular thing in darts.”

Sky Sports’ Wayne Mardle: “I’m a darts fan first and foremost; I was watching (the World Darts Championship) and I had goosebumps watching him. I love people achieving and that was a boy achieving something on the world stage. We may never see the like again. We saw it with Phil Taylor and then we saw it with Michael van Gerwen. This may be the third coming of that. I don’t know, but I’m a little bit carried away.”

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Wayne Mardle praises the poise of 17-year-old Luke Littler after his heated confrontation with Ricardo Pietreczko in the semi-finals of the European Tour

Where to watch Littler playing next

Littler is back in action in front of the Sky Sports cameras on May 2 as the Premier League heads to Aberdeen. Just three regular gameweeks remain until the play-offs.

  • May 2: Premier League, Night 14 – Aberdeen (P&J Live)
  • May 9: Premier League, Night 15 – Leeds (First Direct Arena)
  • May 16: Premier League, Night 16 – Sheffield (Utilita Arena)
  • May 23: Premier League Play-Offs – London (The O2)

The World Cup of Darts takes place in June, but Littler will have competition from current world champion Humphries and former world champion Smith to represent England.

If he is still in the top 32 by July, the Warrington youngster could head to the iconic Winter Gardens in Blackpool for the World Matchplay.

Only the top 24 in the world qualify for the World Series Of Darts Finals in September, but if his top-32 spot is still intact, he will have sights set on the World Grand Prix from October 7.

The Grand Slam of Darts from November 9 would be the next big opportunity as the top players head to Wolverhampton, with the 2025 World Darts Championship – set to start in mid-December – rounding off his breakthrough year.

Premier League Darts takes place every Thursday and runs all the way through to the Play-Offs on Thursday, May 23. Stream Sky Sports Darts without a contract through NOW

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