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Sixteen-year-old Luke Littler spooks bookies at World Darts Championship

The odds of Luke 'The Nuke' Littler winning the World Darts Championship have tumbled after the sixteen-year-old's impressive debut at the Alexandra Palace.

The Runcorn-born Littler started the tournament as a rank outsider at 66/1, but he has now dropped to 10/1 after dispatching experienced Dutchman Christian Kist in the first round.

Littler showed no nerves as he hit seven 180s and finished with an extraordinary average of 110 to mark himself out as a genuine contender for the crown. He also made 50 per cent of his doubles.

The teenager said: “I can’t believe how quickly I settled in. I was a bit nervous going to the stage but as soon as I found my rhythm I was in.”

Sky Sports commentator Wayne Mardle was blown away by Littler’s performance, posting on X: “You’ve just witnessed something extraordinary. Luke Littler may be the most naturally talented player I’ve ever seen.”

Littler is now joint fourth favourite with World Champion Michael Smith to lift the trophy, only Michael Van Gerwen (10/3), Luke Humphries (4/1) and Gerwyn Price (11/2) sit above him with Planet Sport Bet.

During Littler’s stunning win against Kist, a full house at at Alexandra Palace erupted into a chorus of ‘You’ve got school in the morning’ and the Warrington-based teenager responded by pumping his chest as he revelled in the atmosphere.

His performance was not, however, a complete shock. His breakthrough year in 2023, in which he also won the Gibraltar Open and the PDC World Youth Championship, saw him installed as heavy 3/10 favourite to beat Kist.

Next up for the darts prodigy is a second-round clash at Alexandra Palace on Thursday night against 53-year-old Andrew Gilding, from Ipswich.

Gilding won the Cazoo UK Open in Minehead earlier this year when he beat Michael van Gerwen 11–10 in a last-leg decider and is currently 20th in the PDC rankings, but despite Gilding’s obvious experience advantage, Littler is 1/4 favourite to progress through to the third round.




Who is Luke Littler?

Littler was born in Runcorn, Cheshire, on January 21, 2007 and began playing darts aged nine.

He won the England Youth Grand Prix in 2019 and began to rack up tournament wins. He became England Youth Open champion in 2021 and won his first senior title at the Irish Open later that year.

In 2022 he won the Welsh Open and this year notched further senior titles at the Isle of Man Classic, Gibraltar Open, British Open and British Classic.


READ MORE: Thursday's World Darts Championship tips: Damon Heta to turn on the heat, Man Lok Leung looks to steal the show

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