Luke Littler claims the “world has gone mad” as he aims to make it back-to-back World Series title in the Netherlands this weekend.
Littler, who turned 17 on Sunday, continued his incredible ascent to stardom last week when he won the Bahrain Masters, winning silverware in his first tournament since his sensational debut run to the World Championship final at Alexandra Palace.
He did it by making a splash in the Middle East as well, firing a nine-dart finish in his quarter-final win before beating former world champions Gerwyn Price and Michael van Gerwen on his way to the title.
Life has changed immeasurably for Littler over the last couple of months, none more so than him being the star attraction in Bahrain, while he met his Manchester United heroes earlier this week during a visit to their Carrington training ground.
“I was happy to go out to Bahrain and win it,” he said. “It was a good experience, it was different to Ally Pally, you could hear everything in the crowd and it was good to see so many youngsters at the live draw.
“Eight of us (seeded players) took pictures and signed autographs. The world has gone mad.
“I didn’t expect to beat those players, I know I have got my own ability and I believe in my ability and that is what gets me over the line.
“I said I’d take a slow start and then I hit a nine in the first leg, it’s always a bonus. Even Nath said to me, ‘It’s the first leg and a hold of throw’, I said, ‘I know’.
“I was just glad to get over the line against Nath and Gezzy and Michael to get the trophy.”
It will be a tougher assignment for the teenager in Den Bosch this weekend as the likes of Raymond van Barneveld, Danny Noppert, Gian van Veen and Dimitri Van den Bergh join the field as local representatives.
Littler beat both Van Barneveld and Van Veen on the way to the Ally Pally final so knows they are seeking revenge if they are drawn together in the first round.
“The standard is going to be good once again,” he said.
“All eight of the representatives are good. Maybe Raymond and Gian want revenge, but every first round game is going to be tough for us, so it’s going to be a good weekend.
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“It would be a massive bonus if I win it but if I do lose it’s back home and focus on Cardiff in the Premier League.”
“Unbelievable, I met Sir Alex Ferguson and got him to sign my top for me,” Littler told MUTV. “I had a chat with him and I was with (boxer) Tommy Fury as well.
“It was good to get me in a quite good seat and I actually wore some decent clothes for once, instead of just trackies!”