Luke Littler and Luke Humphries
Luke Littler and Luke Humphries

Luke Littler and Luke Humphries gave the Premier League the 'kick up the bum' it needed, says Paul Nicholson

Paul Nicholson reflects on the latest heroics of Luke Littler in his latest column and whether he 'saved' the current Premier League format.

Luke Littler matched Phil Taylor for hitting a nine darter in the Premier League final – is he destined to be the modern day Power?

We don’t know at this stage, but we are revelling in what he has brought to Darts. When you hit this kind of form in your first 6-months, we have to ask logical questions. Can he do more? Will he sustain this kind of brilliance? It would take a brave person to say no at this stage.

Is he making nine-darters seem too easy!?

Not at all. In the last couple of decades, two other players have had four nine darters in a season. Gerwyn Price and James Wade. He’s still got six months to get to five, and we would be shocked to not see that. However, perfect legs are not easy. He maybe thinks they are easier on the pro tour as he plays in ideal conditions more often now, and when you get one in a PL final in front of 14,000 fans, no other place can intimate you to the same degree, so expect more.

Was the Premier League Darts final the best we’ve seen?

If we are being honest, no! Luke Littler (105.6) produced the fourth highest winning average in a Premier League final and Luke Humphries (102.47) produced the third highest losing one but we have had more compelling campaigns and tighter finals. If you take away the possibility of recency bias, we would marvel at what MVG did a decade ago in a final, or even when Jonny Clayton won and call those campaigns better.

Overall have Littler and Humphries ‘saved’ the Premier League format or does it still need changing?

I think their inclusion this year gave the PL the kick up the bum it needed for standard and freshness. Expect them to be in it for years to come and new blood will be key to its success moving forward. As for the format, that didn’t feel as stale as previous years but I’m sure the PDC will keep an open mind.

Luke Littler said he’d proved doubters wrong – are there any left?

Doubters? Which doubters? I’ve heard nothing but wonder. If you speak to a causal darts fan from the street, all they say is, “That Littler is pretty good, isn’t he?” Any doubters simply don’t know Luke and they don’t know darts.

How many majors will he win this season now that he’s picked up his first?

He could pick up the biggest titles. I think it’s important he doesn’t play himself out of form this summer and he needs to have a schedule that works. With his team, I have no doubts he will be a nice mix of ready and fresh for Blackpool and beyond. I’ll be really fascinated to see how he fares at the World Grand Prix.

James Wade says some of the big names have had their ‘noses put out of joint’ by Littler – do you agree?

I’m not sure what Wade means by that. Just over 20 years ago, James was in Luke’s shoes. I know times have changed, but every now and again new talent arises and we have to embrace it. If he’s talking about certain shots he goes for, there is no case, because Wade was just that way in his early PDC days too. Maybe not to the same degree, but he was very bold and at times flashy. If he means that Littler is the most successful player of the season so far, he’s right. In fact, nobody is close and when you become a big winner, expect some not to like that you succeed and they do not.

Play-Offs Night Results


  • Luke Littler (100.3) 10-5 Michael Smith (95.17)
  • Luke Humphries (101.71) 10-5 Michael van Gerwen (97.18)


  • Luke Littler (105.6) 11-7 Luke Humphries (102.47)

Premier League Darts 2024: Averages, 180s and checkout statistics

Luke Littler topped the table on debut
Luke Littler topped the table on debut


  • Luke Humphries: 100.46
  • Luke Littler: 99.20
  • Gerwyn Price: 98.41
  • Michael van Gerwen: 98.10
  • Rob Cross: 97.38
  • Michael Smith: 96.45
  • Nathan Aspinall: 95.73
  • Peter Wright: 93.02

MOST 180s & 180s PER LEG After week 16

  • Luke Littler: 114 (336 legs, 0.34 per leg)
  • Luke Humphries: 107 (298 legs, 0.36)
  • Michael Smith: 93 (298 legs, 0.31)
  • Michael van Gerwen: 79 (280 legs, 0.28)
  • Nathan Aspinall: 74 (282 legs, 0.26)
  • Gerwyn Price: 65 (217 legs, 0.30)
  • Rob Cross: 55 (245 legs, 0.22)
  • Peter Wright: 43 (165 legs, 0.26)


  • Michael van Gerwen: 41.50% (144/347)
  • Luke Humphries: 41.42% (169/408)
  • Rob Cross: 41.07% (115/280)
  • Gerwyn Price: 40.60% (95/234)
  • Michael Smith: 39.26% (148/377)
  • Luke Littler: 39.10% (183/468)
  • Nathan Aspinall: 36.29% (143/394)
  • Peter Wright: 35.47% (61/172)


  • Michael Smith: 21 (14.18% legs won with 100+ checkout)
    100+ Checkouts: 170x2, 156, 146x2, 140, 138, 136x2, 132, 125, 122x2, 120x4, 117, 113, 107x2
  • Luke Littler: 20 (10.92% )
    100+ Checkouts: 170, 164, 146, 144, 140, 138, 136x2, 131, 130, 125, 124, 120, 111, 110, 108, 107, 105, 103, 100
  • Luke Humphries: 18 (10.65%)
    100+ Checkouts: 170, 167, 148, 143, 142, 132, 130x2, 124, 121x2, 120, 117, 116, 108, 106, 105, 104
  • Nathan Aspinall: 16 (11.18%)
    100+ Checkouts: 170, 160x2, 144, 127, 122, 121x2, 120, 114, 110, 108, 106, 104, 100x2
  • Michael van Gerwen: 14 (9.72%)
    100+ Checkouts: 152, 150, 149, 144, 136, 132, 127, 125x2, 120, 110, 108, 107, 100
  • Rob Cross: 14 (12.17%)
    100+ Checkouts: 144x2, 132, 129, 121x2, 117, 116x2, 110, 109, 104, 102, 100
  • Gerwyn Price: 13 (13.68%)
    100+ Checkouts: 170, 160, 141, 124, 120x2, 117x2, 115x2, 103, 101, 100
  • Peter Wright: 3 (4.91%)
    100+ Checkouts: 156, 130, 111

Darts: Related content

Like what you've read?


Sporting Life
Join for free!
Access to exclusive features all for FREE - No monthly subscription fee
Race Replays
My stable horse tracker
giftOffers and prize draws
newsExclusive content

Next Off

Fixtures & Results

Fetching latest games....