By: Gyang Dakwo
Luke Littler at 16 years old became the youngest-ever player to reach the semi-finals of the World Darts Championship with a 5-1 win over Brendan Dolan at Alexandra Palace on Monday.
Littler had a nervous start, losing the first two legs of the opening set, but the teenager soon found his stride to win that first set, and had little trouble in seeing off 50-year-old Dolan from Northern Ireland.
“Wow. I’m in the semi-final on my debut,” Littler told reporters.
“If I keep it up, I’ve got a good chance. Now I am dreaming! I’m two games away. I’m definitely thinking about lifting the title.”
The English teenager will face 2018 winner Rob Cross, who made a remarkable comeback from 4-0 down to beat Chris Dobey 5-4 in their quarter-final earlier on Monday.
“4-0 down and I’ve not played. I didn’t feel like myself. I just pushed on,” Cross said.
“Credit to Chris early on, he gave me a kick in the mouth. It’s all about me, though. I still believed even when I was 4-0 down. I have got nerves of steel.
“If I play Luke Littler in the semis… look, he is 16 and whatever he achieves he has a bright future. If he comes through that he will probably be the favourite.”
Littler, who started playing darts aged 18 months old, has risen from relatively unknown to sporting stardom during his run at the Alexandra Palace.
A Manchester United supporter, he received good-luck messages from defender Jonny Evans and former captain Gary Neville.
He was asked for a photograph by Arsenal players Aaron Ramsdale and Declan Rice last week, and watched Tottenham’s Premier League match against Bournemouth on New Year’s Eve.