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Former footballing wonderkid's Christian take on darts hero Luke Littler

by Will Hobbs

Sport’s latest teenage sensation Luke Littler captured the attention of a nation, by almost becoming the youngest ever winner of the PDC World Darts Championship in his debut tournament.

The 16 year old was eventually beaten by the world number one Luke Humphries in the most watched darts match on record.

Littler, who's from Warrington, seemed to have nerves of steel during the tournament, and confidently gestured to the cheering crowds during the final, encouraging them not to get over-excited.

Following the final fans gathered outside his house, but Littler told reporters he hopes the hype around him will "die down". He's also talked about "some horrible things written about his personal life in the press, and that the media attention has already become "a bit too much" at times.

Christian believer and "missionary in football" John Bostock is a professional footballer who knows exactly what it’s like to be the talk of his sport at 16 years old.

He was Tottenham Hotspur’s youngest ever player at the same age, having turned down the opportunity to sign for Barcelona aged just 14.  He also attracted interest from high-profile clubs like Real Madrid, Inter, Manchester United, Chelsea, and Liverpool.

From his experience, Bostock tells Premier the greatest challenge for so called "wonderkids" is being catapulted by their immense talent into a spotlight which they may not be equipped to handle emotionally.

"We see people are accelerated into positions that maybe they are unfamiliar with. Proverbs 18:16 says, "A man's gift opens doors for him and brings him before great men," and so we see that talents and giftings and abilities can prepare us or bring us before great opportunities or great doors.

"But it doesn't say that your talent will keep you there or sustain you there. There is a great need of what we like to call 'character'.

"I've seen in lives of sporting talents that at times your talent can bring you to places that your character can't keep you and so this is why it's really important that you have the character that's ready to deal with it.

"The money, the sponsorship deals and the limelight is a very, very powerful thing.  If not dealt with properly.  It can be a huge stumbling block.

"I'm very grateful that when the limelight came for me at a young age, I had just given my life to Jesus so although I was immature in my faith my career was built 'upon a solid rock'. 

"It's new territory for Luke and I pray that it's one that he adapts to and he succeeds in."

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