The teenager, who turns 17 today, followed on from his extraordinary World Championship campaign by clinching his first senior PDC title in Bahrain, getting the better of the great Michael van Gerwen in the final.
The Nuke scooped £20,000 with the victory, also seeing off the challenge of Aspinall and Gerwyn Price in style in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively.
Littler’s quarter-final performance, in particular, was a sight to behold, with theyoungster audacious hitting 180-180-141 in his first ever televised nine-darter to take the roof off Bahrain’s BIC Dome – and remarkably, it came the opening leg of the encounter.
In the aftermath of his win, Littler remarkably revealed that he hadn’t thrown a single dart since finishing runner-up to Luke Humphries at the World Championship, before revealing exactly what Aspinall told him following the nine-darter.
Aspinall was visibly delighted for Littler – one of his closest friends on the circuit – but made sure to bring the teen back down to earth with a brilliant one-liner as they embraced on the oche.
‘Nathan said to me after I hit it, “It’s only a hold of throw!”‘ Littler told ITV Sport.
‘I said, “I know that myself!”‘
Van Gerwen was full of praise for Littler after losing out in the final but called for his opponent to be given the time and space he needs to develop in the sport.
‘Everyone says he is a new kid but everyone knows what he is capable of,’ the Dutchman said.
‘The crowds, the televisions, everyone wants to make him bigger. But he’s already a good player.
‘I know you want to push him but let him grow. Let him do his things.
You have to learn, the crowd has to learn. Everyone who is involved in television will have to learn.
‘Don’t push him too much. Give him his time and everything will come. No problem.’
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