Luke Littler faces 'lonely and tiring' 2024 after World Darts Championship defeat

Luke Littler faces 'lonely and tiring' 2024 after World Darts Championship defeat

WATCH NOW: Luke Littler speaks ahead of a busy 2024

Lewis Winter

By Lewis Winter

Published: 05/01/2024

- 15:07

The teenage sensation is set for an extremely busy year after his rise to stardom

Luke Littler has been told he faces the prospect of a 'lonely' 2024 following his defeat in the World Darts Championship final.

The 16-year-old lost out to Luke Humphries in Wednesday's showpiece clash and James Wade has warned him of a tough journey on the PDC Tour.

Littler stunned the world of darts with his performances at Alexandra Palace.

He overcame the likes of Raymond van Barneveld, Brendan Dolan and Rob Cross on his way to the final.

Luke Littler

Luke Littler has been warned of a difficult 2024


Littler was the youngest player to ever win a match at the tournament and is destined for a long career in the sport.

He was picked as one of the four wildcards for the Premier League, which begins in February.

The tournament will run for 17 consecutive Thursdays, while Littler will also be on the Pro Tour and European Tour for the first time.

But Wade has warned that the teenager could be burnt out by playing too much, too soon and says he faces lots of time away from his family.

Wade has been part of the PDC for 20 years and knows the rigours Littler is about to face.

He told the Daily Star: "I can understand the PDC's desire to put Luke into the Premier League (he is their most marketable asset at present) but that roadshow is a lonely and tiring place and I really hope that it doesn't come at the cost of burn-out for the rest of his career.

"He deserves to be nurtured because it is a great story, and he could turn out to be a top, top player for a long time.

"Believe it or not, back before Michael van Gerwen came on the scene, I was the youngest-ever player to have won a TV major in darts.

"They say the first is the hardest, but I thought it was the second - there is suddenly expectations, some haters, people wanting to beat you.

"It all must be dealt with in a way you never experienced as an outsider."

Littler will also keep competing at youth level despite his recent rise.

He will play in the final of the Junior Darts Corporation's Super 16 in February, just three days after his Premier League debut.

The Premier League begins in Cardiff and will travel across the UK and Europe before the final at London's O2 Arena on May 23.


Luke Littler

Luke Littler just missed out in the World Darts Championship final


Littler was delighted to learn of his wildcard pick and is excited for what is to come.

He said: "I can't wait – obviously Manchester and Liverpool are very close to my hometown.

"I'm looking forward to the magnificent Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin as well as trips to Cardiff and Brighton.

“It's going to be an amazing experience.

"Playing darts week-in, week-out, in front of tens of thousands of fans, against the world's best players is a dream come true.

Luke Littler

Luke Littler is excited to begin his Premier League campaign


"I've watched all the darts before. It'll be an amazing experience for myself and I am glad I have the opportunity. It will be a good test for myself.

"But that's the nature of the Premier League – I've just got to do what I do and show why I'm there every week."

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