Darts icon Phil Taylor makes feelings clear on Luke Littler exhibition match as teenager continues to shine

Darts icon Phil Taylor makes feelings clear on Luke Littler exhibition match as teenager continues to shine

WATCH NOW: Phil Taylor reflects on darts retirement

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 15/02/2024

- 14:00

The 63-year-old is considered one of the best players of all time

Phil Taylor has admitted he 'wouldn't want to' face Luke Littler in an exhibition match.

Littler is currently the toast of the darts world having electrified the sport ever since his appearance at the World Darts Championship last month.

The 17-year-old has drawn comparisons with Taylor, who is widely considered one of the best darts players of all time.

But the veteran has admitted he wouldn't want to face Littler in an exhibition because of the quality the youngster possesses.

Darts Phil Taylor Luke Littler

Darts icon Phil Taylor has admitted he has concerns about a potential exhibition match with Luke Littler


“No [I don’t want to play him]. Not yet, I don’t want to play him to be quite honest with you!” he told talkSPORT.

When quizzed further, however, Taylor did say he'd be open to the possibility - but only if he was allowed to throw first.

“I’d play him in an exhibition, yeah. One leg of 301, I go first!” he said.

Taylor has been blown away by Littler like the rest of the nation.

And he also thinks the teenager will be a 'nice, young lad' in the coming years ahead, too.

“I think he is absolutely fantastic, I have got to be honest with you, and I know he’s got the backs up of the other pros which I love to see," added the 63-year-old.

“I wasn’t really watching darts, I wasn’t really interested in it and he’s made me interested in watching it again.

“I even watched some of the streaming yesterday [Players Championship 2 on Tuesday] so that’s not me!

"But I’ve really enjoyed watching him.

“He’s a great little player, he’s got a great little personality and it hasn’t affected him yet. I don’t think it ever will.

“I think he will keep his feet on the ground no matter how many tournaments he achieves, I think he will be a nice, young lad.”

Littler has talked with Taylor in the past, with the darts star eager to learn from a master of the sport.

He said before his defeat to Luke Humphries in the final of the World Darts Championship that he'd spoken with Taylor, who urged him to 'keep focused'.

Speaking at the time, he said: "I've spoken to him [Taylor] in the hotel and him and Michael van Gerwen have been saying 'keep it up' and 'keep your head focused'.

"That's all I've tried to do, keep level-headed."


Phil Taylor darts

Phil Taylor dominated darts during his time in the sport


Littler, meanwhile, will face off against Gerwyn Price in the Premier League tonight.

The Briton has made a strong start to the competition, picking up five points so far.

And Eddie Hearn, speaking to Sky Sports, has revealed the PDC initially had doubts about Littler playing in the competition before performing a U-turn.

The 44-year-old said: "The PDC board have a WhatsApp group chat and as we know, around the World Championships it's the finalisation of the Premier League line-up.

"Basically, as soon as this kid [Luke Littler] made the last-16 or the quarter finals of the competition, I was thinking he must go in the Premier League line-up. But, I am a casual darts fan.

Luke Littler

Luke Littler is currently the talk of the darts world amid his outstanding performances at the oche


"You've got people who sit within the PDC who are extreme hardcore darts fans and have been for years.

"They've been a huge part of the PDC development and they weren't sure.

"A lot of feelings within the group was that Luke Littler is 16. Does he have the tenacity? Does he have the mindset? Can he deal with the pressure? Can he deal with the media? We've got to be fair to him. We've got to give him the chance to develop as a player.

"I was like, I get it but he's going to sell out everywhere. Everyone is going to tune in to watch him.

"But, it was probably the Ross Cross victory in the semi-finals that sealed it [playing in the Premier League]."

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