Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

I only know Pele off FIFA – Luke Littler bids to join other famous young guns

Luke Littler only knew about Pele from playing Xbox (Sean Dempsey/Zac Goodwin/PA)
Luke Littler only knew about Pele from playing Xbox (Sean Dempsey/Zac Goodwin/PA)

Teenager Luke Littler wants to continue ripping up the record books as he targets a place in the World Darts Championship semi-finals.

The 16-year-old has taken Alexandra Palace by storm and became the youngest player to reach the quarter-finals when he emphatically beat five-time world champion and his hero Raymond van Barneveld in the last 16 on Saturday.

That set up a winnable last-eight tie with Northern Irishman Brendan Dolan on New Year’s Day and he is now dreaming of lifting the Sid Waddell Trophy on Wednesday.

If Littler was to win the title it would be one of the greatest sporting stories of all time and he would out-do several famous young achievers.

Pele was 17 when he won the World Cup with Brazil, Boris Becker was 18 as he claimed his first Wimbledon title while Mike Tyson became heavyweight world champion at 20.

Littler, nicknamed ‘The Nuke’, has not heard of all of those names, including that of 2021 US Open singles champion Emma Raducanu, who his story shares many parallels with, but he thinks there is more to come.

“Unbelievable, the names you have just said,” he said. “I know Mike, I only know Pele off FIFA and I don’t know the other ones.

“I have certainly broken the rules and records already but I know if my game is there I can beat even more records.

“My game is there, it is every darting kid’s, man’s, whoever’s dream to win it. I have certainly got the game, it is whatever happens on the day, whatever Luke Littler turns up.”

Littler’s run has already made him a recognisable name and he has enjoyed celebrity status after bursting onto the scene.

Littler and his family received complimentary tickets to watch Arsenal in the Premier League on Thursday night, with Gunners pair Declan Rice and Aaron Ramsdale asking him for a photo, while players from his beloved Manchester United sent him good luck messages before the match with Van Barneveld.

“It was unbelievable,” he added. “I was walking to my room and one of the security guards from Arsenal said to me Declan and Aaron wanted a picture with me and I just went ‘a picture with me’, and they came out for one.

“They said they have a dartboard up in the changing room. It is crazy for them to want a picture with me, it should be the other way around.

“It was incredible to get the messages, obviously United didn’t get the win (at Forest), but Jonny (Evans) and Gary (Neville) are United legends and Jonny is still playing for us, it was just incredible.”

Littler also appeared as a guest in James Maddison’s box at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday afternoon for Spurs’ clash with Bournemouth.

Dolan will be no pushover as he has beaten two former world champions in the last two rounds in Gerwyn Price and Gary Anderson.

Rob Cross faces Chris Dobey in the opening match of 2024 while Michael van Gerwen should have too much for controversial Scott Williams and Luke Humphries takes on Dave Chisnall in the other quarter-final.