Darts cult hero Stephen Bunting fires warning to Luke Littler and tells 17-year-old ‘it’s only going to get bigger’

STEPHEN BUNTING has warned Luke Littler that the attention he is getting is only going to get worse the more he succeeds.

Warrington ace Littler, who turned 17 last month, has generated enormous interest since his run to the World final at Ally Pally.

Luke Littler has rapidly become the biggest name in the sportCredit: Reuters

His star has continued to rise with his performances in the Premier League, his wonderful nine-darters and lifting two trophies since becoming a permanent member of the Tour.

As Littler moves up the world rankings, as he starts winning more TV titles, then the clamour to speak to him will only grow and grow.

Bunting – the freshly-crowed Masters champion – said: “As long as Luke can keep his head on his shoulders and his feet on the floor, then the world is his oyster to be honest.

“Luke seems to be pretty level-headed. But obviously doing what he is doing, he is only going to be in the media more.

“I saw he won the ProTour the other day and it broke on Sky Sports News. It’s brilliant for our sport.

“It is bringing new eyes into our sport. Bigger viewing figures.

“So while he is doing it, I’ll applaud him. And hopefully he can continue to do it.

“But the media and everything that is on top of him, plus the hard work he has to put in, it’s really tough for anyone, never mind someone who is 17 years of age.

“Hats off to him. He has handled it really well at the minute. It’s only going to get bigger. The more he does, the worse it’s going to get.”

Littler – who faces Peter Wright in the quarter-finals of the Premier League Darts on Thursday – is having to deal with the tiring nature of the full-time darts circuit.

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The Nuke is third in the Prem table after three rounds though he is awaiting his first nightly victory.

When he lost to Gerwyn Price last week in the quarters in Glasgow, Littler punched himself in frustration.

The Bullet, 38, added: “When you are playing in the Premier League, the calendar is so unforgiving. You’re away every week. It does become tiring.

“I do feel for those Premier League players. At the end of the day, they are all getting well paid as well.

“Luke Littler is playing fantastic darts at the minute, but I think you have seen his frustration.

“I think he is probably going to show a bit of tiredness. You saw it towards the end of his match when he lost. He wasn’t too happy.”

Gideon Canice

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