Luke Littler rubs Luke Humphries’ nose in it as teen more popular | Other | Sport

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The 17-year-old’s incredible run at Alexandra Palace and following success has seen him soar to 1.2million followers on Instagram. He became a household name overnight despite being beaten in the World Championship final by Humphries, who has also dominated recent weeks in the Premier League.

But Humphries only has a fraction of Littler’s social media presence and sits at just over 200,000 followers on Instagram. Littler was very aware of their pair’s follower count and pointed it out when speaking on the JaackMaate’s Happy Hour podcast, when discussing his rapid rise to fame.

He explained: “I remember going to my first game (at the World Championship) with my manager and he said: ‘How many followers have you got?’ and I went: ‘Only 4,000’, and he went: ‘If you win this game tonight, guaranteed 50,000, 60,000’. Honestly, as soon as I won, 40,000. Then as I got on it was 100,000, 150,000 and then up to 1.2million.”

When asked if he was the most followed darts player in the world, Littler cheekily replied with: “By a mile. Luke Humphries is slacking at about 300,000 I think. Maybe not even that. No one (in darts) has really spoken about it.”

Littler has six times the follower count of Humphries despite being unable to match his achievements at the oche, but the 29-year-old seemingly has no issue with his rival’s mass popularity and feels “on top of the world” at the moment.

Humphries is aiming for a record fourth consecutive nightly win in the Premier League when he and Littler travel to Belfast on Thursday. After wins in Brighton, Nottingham and Dublin Humphries will be favoured, but knows to be wary of the teenager who just mocked him over their social media followings as they meet in the opening quarter-final.

“Four in a row? I’d be delighted to do things that nobody has ever done, but I would have to do it the hard way,” Humphries said. “Luke not been as consistent of late, but like me also has that level where he can blow anybody away. He might not be playing at his optimum best, but I haven’t beaten him since the Worlds.

“It’s not about revenge – there is no revenge in darts – because I won the biggest tournament in the world. He has beaten me a few times since, but that’s because he’s so good.”

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