Darts sensation Luke Littler, 16, reveals what his idol Raymond van Barneveld told him after beating him 4-1 to reach World Darts Championship quarter finals – after euphoric crowd sang ‘Walking in a Littler Wonderland’

  • Littler set up a clash with Brendan Dolan after sweeping the Dutchman aside
  • Alexandra Palace crowd could not contain their delight following his win 

Luke Littler has revealed what his idol Raymond van Barneveld told him after the teen sensation demolished the Dutchman to reach the World Darts Championship quarter-finals.

The 16-year-old swept the five-time world champion aside last night in a 4-1 masterclass much to the delight of the euphoric crowd at the Alexandra Palace who sang ‘Walking in a Littler Wonderland’. 

Littler embraced his hero on the stage afterwards and in an interview with Sky Sports revealed van Barneveld backed him to go all the way and become the youngest person to ever pick up the Sid Waddell trophy. 

‘The Nuke’ was born 20 days after Van Barneveld defeated Phil Taylor 7-6 in the greatest World Championship of all time. There are even videos of the English youngster, at three years old, copying his counterpart’s arms wide celebration in his living room.

But Littler showed no mercy as he raced into a 3-0 lead before completing the barnstorming win in which he averaged 105. 

Luke Littler, 16, spoke to Sky Sports after his emphatic 4-1 win and revealed what his is idol Raymond van Barneveld said to him afterwards

The teenage phenomenon (left) defeated the legend of the sport and five-time world champion (right)

The teenage phenomenon (left) defeated the legend of the sport and five-time world champion (right)

Asked what the Dutchman said to him, Littler said: ‘He just said “you can go all the way, I hope you go all the way”.

‘I said “thank you”. He’s a true gentleman and I respect Raymond very well.’

Littler will face Brendan ‘The History Maker’ Dolan in the quarter-finals on New Year’s Day after the Norther Irishman had earlier put an end to Scotland’s Gary Anderson’s dreams of winning a third world championship in another pulsating clash. 

Now guaranteed at least £50,000, this was an outrageous performance from the Warrington phenomenon who some are saying is now the most famous 16-year-old on the planet.

Van Barneveld was added to the growing list of humbled in a 4-1 loss, following on from Littler’s wins over Christian Kist, Andrew Gilding and Matt Campbell in the previous rounds.

Michael van Gerwen was the youngest winner of this PDC event at 24 in 2014 but Van Barneveld suspects Littler can smash that record.

There was certainly no indication of nerves as he walked on stage, nailing a 180 with his second throw of the match en route to taking the opening set.

He has guaranteed at least £50,000 in prize money, and will double that if he beats Brendan Dolan in the quarter-finals

He has guaranteed at least £50,000 in prize money, and will double that if he beats Brendan Dolan in the quarter-finals

He attacked at the oche and never gave Barneveld chance to settle and get into his groove

He attacked at the oche and never gave Barneveld chance to settle and get into his groove

Littler has shot to stardom in recent weeks after the impressing at Alexandra Palace

Littler has shot to stardom in recent weeks after the impressing at Alexandra Palace

There was a wry smile from Van Barneveld when Littler took the second and third sets. As John Parts remarked on commentary, Littler looked as if he knew the local kebab shop was closing and did not want to miss out on his trademark celebratory meal.

Yet at 2-2 in the fourth set, Van Barneveld won the deciding leg, making sure he would at least avoid the ignominy of a whitewash.

The fifth set likewise went to 2-2 and this time, Littler was throwing first. Needing 170, his first two throws landed in treble 20. With Van Barneveld trailing on 273, however, he did not go for bullseye.

Instead, he threw for 20. There were boos from the crowd who wanted a big finish but Littler tapped his head, as if to say: ‘I know what I’m doing.’

That he does. With a single dart, he nailed double 15.

There were no tears upon victory. He will save them for if and when he wins the Sid Waddell Trophy and the accompanying £500,000 cheque. But first, Dolan awaits.

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