Luke Littler reflects on fateful moment he missed double two in final showdown

By Sports Desk January 04, 2024

Luke Littler admitted it “would have changed everything” if he had hit double two and gone 5-2 up during his World Championship final defeat by Luke Humphries.

Sixteen-year-old debutant Littler lost 7-4 to world number one Humphries to round off an incredible journey on darts’ biggest stage at Alexandra Palace.

The unranked Warrington player squandered the chance to take a three-set lead going into the break, which allowed Humphries to take the next five sets and win his first major title.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Littler said: “I missed double two to go 5-2 up and that would have changed everything.

“Then I would have gone into the break and I would have been two sets away, just six legs, but it wasn’t to be and then Luke (Humphries) got the job done.

“It is what it is. I didn’t know what to go for so I asked Russ (Bray, the referee) what to go for and I didn’t hit it and I will have to come back stronger.

“It was a bit gutting standing there on my own watching Luke lift the trophy but he deserved it and was the better man on the night.”

Littler, who left school in the summer to focus on darts, won £200,000 and has amassed a wave of social media followers since the tournament kicked off on December 15.

The teenager has even gained the support of players from his favourite football club Manchester United, saying he finds getting attention from their players “unbelievable”.

He added: “It’s crazy to think so many people follow me, especially the footballers of my club. Luke Shaw, Jonny Evans and Phil Jones have sent me messages so it’s unbelievable.

“It’s been crazy. I was watching them on the TV and now they watch me on the TV as well so it’s crazy that they’re watching me.

“My girlfriend got us a stadium tour for two people so I’ll be doing that when we can.

“It’s unbelievable to think the runner-up is bigger than the winner. Obviously Luke is now world number one and the champion so respect to him.

“The social media followers have changed me and my family.”

St Helens Darts Academy opened their doors to support Littler on Wednesday evening.

He said: “I didn’t even know they were at the academy – it’s usually only open on a Monday.

“Thank you to them for putting the effort in by putting the boards up and the TVs, it was good to see and it cheered me up a bit.”

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