Luke Littler promises gift to former coach as 16-year-old prepares for darts return in Bahrain

Luke Littler promises gift to former coach as 16-year-old prepares for darts return in Bahrain

WATCH NOW: Luke Littler speaks after the World Darts Championship final

Lewis Winter

By Lewis Winter

Published: 18/01/2024

- 08:20

The youngster is grateful for the coach who helped him succeed

Luke Littler has promised to give his former coach a monetary gift if he wins the World Darts Championship one day.

The teenager lost out in the final earlier this month after breaking several records at Alexandra Palace.

Littler became the youngest player to ever win a match at the tournament in the first round.

But he went on to win a further five games, including victories over former champions Raymond van Barneveld and Rob Cross.

Luke Littler

Luke Littler has promised a gift to his former coach if he wins the World Darts Championship


The 16-year-old won the hearts of the nation and attracted a huge audience for his final against Luke Humphries.

But the new world No 1 had too much on the night, winning 7-4.

Littler has played darts since he was an infant and credits Karl Holden of the St Helens Darts Academy for playing a big part in his development.

And he has promised to reward him if he does get his hands on the Sid Waddell Trophy in the future.

Littler told the BBC: "It's just all come from this man.

"We started off at the beginning and this is where I am now.

"So hopefully when I do win the Worlds, I'll pay him a bit."

Littler will return to action at the Bahrain Masters on Thursday, where he faces Man Lok Leung in the opening round.

Before then, he paid a visit to Holden's darts shop in St Helens, meeting Holden for the first time since his rise to stardom.

Holden revealed his delight at watching the youngster perform on the world stage.

He said: "It's always good being around him.

"We've always given the lad good advice but to get to the final and watching him was pretty special for everybody."

Holden always knew Littler had a special talent from a young age.

He added: "He was 10 and we had to shove him in the under-21s because his ability was just too good for anyone else."

While Littler is pleased with the impact he has had on sales in Holden's shop.

He said: "It's just been crazy for myself and it's been good for Karl."

Ahead of the final at Ally Pally, Holden admitted he had to change the rules for Littler at his academy.


Luke Littler and Karl Holden

Luke Littler has credited Karl Holden for his rise to stardom


He told Sky News: "We had a rule that you had to be over 15 to go on stage.

"But he broke all the rules. We had to put him up with the under-21s before he was age 11 because he was that good.

"He's a sensational player and a naturally gifted player as well.

"It's not been a huge surprise to those who really know him, but to the rest of the world it's a bit of a surprise how he's done that well so quick at the age of 16.

Luke Littler

Luke Littler lost in the World Darts Championship final


"I think this is just the start to be honest

"He's not going down and he's not levelled off, he's still going up and getting better which must be a big concern for some of the PDC players he will be playing against next year."

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