Tearable comment:Luke Littler hits back after rival said ‘he’s a celebrity not a darts player’

Luke Littler hits back after rival said ‘he’s a celebrity not a darts player’

Luke Littler insists he is “just a lad doing what he does best” after Nathan Aspinall labelled the 17-year-old more celebrity than darts player.

The teenage prodigy has become a household name since his stunning debut at the World Championship during the festive season. But his fame has also translated to life away from the board, appearing on shows inclduing The Jonathan Ross Show and Comic Relief.

That extra media attention hasn’t detracted from his game however, racking up titles including the Bahrain Masters and PDC Players Championship. The Nuke has also rattled off back-to-back Premier League victories, beating Aspinall most recently in Manchester.

Aspinall then suggested that darts’ newest superstar is more than just a player, with Littler already the most recognisable face in the sport. But Littler has dismissed those claims, saying his focus hasn’t changed.

Maybe look at my following, I might be classed as a celebrity,” he mused. “But I’m just a lad doing what he does best. Am I [a celebrity]? I don’t know. I’m just a dart player. I just get on with it, whatever comes my way.

“I just have to get on with it. Whether I say things and don’t back it up. But at the minute I’m saying things and do back it up.”

Littler outshined his buddy and peer Aspinall during Thursday evening’s triumph at AO Arena. Aspinall, who has been mentoring Littler on handling psychological pressures of the game, then declared that Littler is more than a mere darts player.

He is a fantastic talent. What he’s done for the sport. Forget about his darts ability because it’s not about his darts,” he explained.

“He’s not a darts player, he’s a celebrity. I’m a darts player, he’s a celebrity. That’s the difference. But what’s he doing, because he’s a celebrity, he’s projecting darts to a whole new level.

“I did a day of media on Tuesday at the BBC, BBC have never cared about darts. All of a sudden me and Luke Littler are in there for five hours doing media, they want us.

“That isn’t because of me or (Michael) Van Gerwen, that’s because of Luke Littler. So you’ve got to give credit where credit is due. He is helping us boys out as much as himself. But darts-wise, he’s great but he hasn’t got what we’ve got at the moment. He’s got to learn from us. I don’t learn from him, he learns from me.”

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