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World of Sport

30th Dec 2023

Gary Anderson stands up for Luke Littler after newspaper picture controversy

Patrick McCarry

Gary Anderson

“Let the boy play darts!”

Former PDC world champion Gary Anderson has stood up for 16-year-old darts sensation Luke Littler after he received some blow-back for an interview and photo-shoot with a tabloid.

Littler is the youngest ever player to reach the Last 16 of the PDC world championship and he faces Raymond van Barneveld, on Saturday night, with the quarter finals within reach. In the midst of his impressive run, the teenager is having to deal with a huge up-tick in media, and social media, attention.

Littler found himself apologising after being pictured holding The Sun newspaper and a kebab after a recent interview with the publication. The image of Littler posing with the newspaper sparked an online furore and Littler’s team used his ‘X’ account to address the matter, writing:

‘Today a photograph of me holding up a newspaper has been published in the media. The media attention I have been getting is very new to me and I didn’t fully understand at the time what I was being asked to do.

‘In no way do I endorse that newspaper or the headline which accompanied the article and I sincerely apologise for any offence this has caused. I’m focusing now on my next match with Barney and would like to thank everyone for their amazing support.’

Luke LittlerLuke Littler celebrates winning his round 1 match against Christian Kist, at the PDC World Championship. (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images)

Gary Anderson stands up for Luke Littler

Two-time PDC world champion Gary Anderson then swooped to the defence of Luke Littler with a passionate statement he delivered to the media, on Friday.

After defeating Boris Krcmar in his Last 32 match, ‘The Flying Scotsman’ declared:

“I’m going to say this now – we had another youngster called Josh Rock that all you press and everything else have absolutely destroyed.

“So if it ever goes t*** up with Luke, then give yourselves a pat on the back, because that’s the way it’s going. Let the boy play darts!

“I’ve been downstairs today, he’s had cameras, zoom calls, Sky meetings. Let the boy play darts.

“He’s had a great tournament, he’s done well, but what happens if it goes Pete Tong now? You boys have ruined it, haven’t you?

“So let the boy play darts, he’s 16-years-old, playing well.”

Luke Littler on the brink of more history

Luke Littler will face Raymond van Barneveld in the Last 16 of the PDC World Championship from 8:45pm on Saturday, December 30.

We’ll be following all the big darts moments in our world championships live hub.

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