World champion Luke Humphries expects long-lasting rivalry with Luke Littler


New world champion Luke Humphries is anticipating an enduring rivalry with Luke Littler in years to come.

Humphries ended Littler’s teenage dream by winning the World Championship at Alexandra Palace on Wednesday night as he celebrated becoming world number one by lifting the Sid Waddell Trophy for the first time.

Littler, 16, was the star of the tournament, though, his time will surely come after showing he can already mix it with the very best in the sport.

But it is Humphries who is the current king, having won four of the last five major titles, and he expects the two Lukes to be at the top of the pile.

“It is a final I would be very shocked not to see again,” he said. “Not just in world finals, in major finals, we will see that final many, many times over the next 20 years.

“Darts can throw up anything, who knows what talent can come through and all of a sudden be better than us.

“I don’t think we will see a talent as good as Luke at 16 ever again in any sport. Him winning the title would have been the equivalent of a 16-year-old winning the Balon D’Or or a tennis player winning Wimbledon.

I am not a boring person, I know a load of people say it on social media, but what you see on stage is not the person you see in real life

Luke Humphries

“I would be very shocked if you see someone with a cool, calm head like him at such a young age dominate like he can.”

Although he was the villain for ending Littler’s dream becoming the youngest world champion, few will begrudge the success of Humphries, who is one of the sport’s nice guys.

But that has often led him to be called ‘boring’ as he is more reserved than the showman Peter Wright, fist-pumping Michael van Gerwen or combative Gerwyn Price, but he has let his darts do the talking.

“I am not a boring person, I know a load of people say it on social media, but what you see on stage is not the person you see in real life,” he said. “The comments do not affect me, people can say whatever they want to say.

“It is up to me whether I let them affect me and I never will. I am the one that is doing all the hard work and if I was to create a fake personality and do different things then I probably wouldn’t be winning the things I do.

“That is the great thing about darts, there are so many different personalities, a lot of them come out on stage, mine comes out behind the stage.

“Once I won the Grand Prix. a couple of people said it and everyone just jumped on that bandwagon.

“It is not boring, if you’re a proper darts fan you are going to enjoy watching that game. It happened to me, I celebrated winning one of the sets and look what happened next, I was rubbish, that is why I like to keep laser-focused and worry about winning the game.”

Named Luke by his father as homage to his beloved Leeds (Leeds United Kings of Europe), plans are in the pipeline to parade his trophy around Elland Road.

He added: “It would make me feel as good as I just felt because I have watched and supported my beloved Leeds for many years, since I was about three or four years old which is as long as I can remember.

“To go around and see all those Leeds fans cheering my name and shouting it would just a very emotional moment, it really will.”



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