Meet kebab-loving darts ace Luker Littler, 16, who's played since he was ONE and is 'more talented than Van Gerwen' | The Sun

LUKE LITTLER may only be 16 years old, but he is already lighting up the world of darts.

The talented teenager – dubbed "The Nuke" – is being labelled as more talented than superstar Michael van Gerwen.

And he is being fuelled on his path to glory at the PDC World Darts Championship by kebabs and cans of Fanta.

Littler made his name four years ago as he swept away the competition by winning the England Youth Grand Prix and Isle of Man Masters.

His first seniors title came in 2021 with victory at the Irish Open.

And aged just 14, Littler sealed a spot at the 2022 WDF World Darts Championship before becoming the youngest-ever player to win a match at the tournament.



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He went all the way to the third round before losing to Richard Veenstra.

But Littler’s dream came true last month when he beat Gian van Veen to win the PDC World Youth Championship.

As a result, he qualified for the main event in December.

And Littler stunned the world last night when he dumped Christian Kist out of the competition with a 105 average.

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The result should come as no surprise as the Runcorn youngster, who is a mad fan of rugby league side Warrington Wolves, has been throwing arrows since he was just 18 months old.

After winning his PDC Tour Card earlier this year, he said of his rise: "I still can’t believe it. I have surprised myself.

“At the start of the year, my ambition was to win one Development Tour title, and I’ve won five.

“I knew I had the ability to beat the best players on the Development Tour, and I’ve beaten quite a few Tour Card holders — Dylan Slevin, Danny Jansen, Lewy Williams, Keane Barry.

“It is unbelievable. Now I’ve got my Tour Card, I can’t wait to prove what I can do on the big stages.”

But while his phenomenal performance at the Worlds won't shock those who have followed his progress, his training regime might.

Littler's hero and 16-time world champ Phil Taylor was famed for practising all day long.

But the teen hopeful revealed in August: "At the moment I don’t practise much. I usually do 30 minutes to an hour a day.

"Some people probably won’t believe it, but if I’m playing against the best, then I’ve got to up my standard.”

And it seems any hard work has paid off, with his latest exploits, which he admitted were the peak of his career so far, leading to a barrage of praise from ex-pros.

Wayne Mardle said after last night's performance: “You’ve just witnessed something extraordinary.

“Luke Littler may be the most naturally talented player I’ve ever seen. Why can’t he win the World Championship?”

Phil Taylor added: “Great performance from Luke The Nuke. Well done buddy keep focused.”

But being 16 years old means Littler could not celebrate with a beer like his counterparts.

Instead, he toasted the occasion with his favourite takeaway — a greasy kebab.

Littler washed it down with some Fanta and Coca Cola.

And he will be hoping for a similar result when he takes on Andrew Gilding this evening.

Speaking after his win over Kist, Littler said: "It was a massive experience. The crowd are always singing. I am glad they were on my side and it helped me over the line even more.

“I knew my practice was going well. I didn’t think I would take it on the stage. I am glad I won the Bull, which meant I threw first in the first set.

“This ranks at the top. With the highest average on debut at the world it’s unbelievable. Tonight was a whole different level to what I have had before.

“Walking on everyone wanted me to sign everything, which I couldn’t do. It was crazy to see little kids with my own top on. It was good to see.

“I wanted to give it to the crowd, if I hit a 180 or big checkout, and I needed that to play well. I just settled more than I thought.

“If I average 106 in every game, I have got a chance. All the nerves are out of the way now. Win my first game. And win 6 or 7 to get the title but I am happy to win tonight."

The fans loved the new Prince of Ally Pally – and jokinly chanted "You've got school in the morning" as he gave a masterclass at the oche.

Littler added: “Walking on, I was nervous but when I stepped on to the stage, I said: Wow. I didn’t want to go into my own shell. I wanted to be myself and I did.

“That was an unbelievable experience. I hope they will be on my side again. I wanted to win my first game and against Andrew Gilding, I can settle.

“I heard the chants. I don’t have school. I have a Tour Card now so no school involved. I have not checked my phone. I know what that will be like.

"I will be up for pretty much the early hours in the morning. I couldn’t sleep last night as I was so excited. My main goal is to come back after Christmas.

“I cannot put this into words. I have watched the Worlds for many years, seen different people lift the title. I have won a game on this big stage.

“A lot of people have said I am better than MVG. I can’t agree or disagree because I know what Michael did at my age and what I have done.

“I hope I can stay above the ton average-wise. I know he’s a slow thrower. I have to find a rhythm.

“I engaged with the crowd and it got me fired up. I haven’t thought about what I will get my mum and dad for Christmas yet.

“In my corner my dad and a friend Mike from Liverpool, where I play in the Super league, and my favourite Eloise.

“It’s unbelievable that Warrington Wolves are supporting me. I go to as many games as I can. A lot of players have been following me on Instagram recently. It is good to look up to them.

“I will treat myself to a kebab. Get myself some bottles of coke and bottles of Fanta.”

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Taxi driver dad Anthony and mum Lisa, who works for a scented candle chain, could be in for something special this Christmas if their boy's run continues – especially of he lands the £500,000 winner's cheque.

He said before the tournament started: "What would I do with half a million? No idea – I'll still be happy with £7,500 if I get beaten in the first round."

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