Teenage star Luke Littler will stick with his diet of cheese and ham omelettes and pizza as he tries to complete his history-making World Championship dream.
The 16-year-old debutant continued his amazing Alexandra Palace journey by becoming the youngest-ever finalist when he destroyed 2018 champion Rob Cross in the semi-final. He is now on the cusp of producing one of the greatest sporting stories of all time, with new world No 1 Luke Humphries now standing in his way.
Littler has made history with some unconventional preparations, with his love of kebabs also a theme of his run to the final, but it is working for him.
“I’ll keep doing what I have been doing,” he said. “I don’t wake up until 12, in the morning go for my ham and cheese omelette, come here and have my pizza, and then go on the practice board. It is what I have been doing every day – if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.”
His love of food has seen the local food ordering app in his hometown, Warrington Eats, promise him deliveries of free food when he returns home, tweeting: “Free takeaway on us any time that you want it. Doing Warrington Proud.”
Away from the glamour of Alexandra Palace, Littler is an ordinary teenager. He left school last year to play darts full-time and his average day does not necessarily sound like a recipe for sporting history. “I just wake up, play on my Xbox, have some food, have a chuck on the board and go to bed, that’s it,” he said this week.
It was the Xbox which proved the catalyst for love in Littler’s life, when he met 21-year-old girlfriend Eloise Milburn online while playing Fifa six weeks ago. She posted on Instagram after his quarter-final success: “The dream carries on. Incredibly proud of you!”
Littler has already proved he is the real deal but produced his biggest statement yet as he downed eighth seed Cross 6-2 in stunning fashion. He bombarded the treble-20 for 16 180s, produced three 130-plus checkouts and averaged 106.05 in a nerveless performance.
“I haven’t got the words. It’s crazy,” he said. “I have just settled on that stage. It has not even sunk in yet. I have surprised myself. I have just got to stay focused and be Luke Littler. I have got to be mature and be myself. It would be unbelievable if I won it, I only wanted to win one match.”
He will come up against his toughest opponent yet in Humphries, who is the form player in the world. The 28-year-old came into the tournament by winning three of the last four majors and produced one of the best ever performances at Ally Pally to whitewash Scott Williams 6-0 in his semi-final.
But Littler exudes confidence, and he already knows what he’ll do with his winnings – which will jump from £200,000 to £500,000 should he claim the trophy. “I always treat myself to some Under Armour tracksuits,’ he told the Daily Telegraph. “And just get myself a new coat and get myself some Fifa points for my Xbox. That’s pretty much it.”
Additional reporting by PA