LUKE Littler’s achievements over the past few weeks have been extraordinary – on and off the dart board!

The Warringtonian's ability to hit the desired target with his arrows so consistently is literally world class and beyond belief, clearly pronouncing him as a prodigious talent.

To have acquired all that skill is incredible in itself, but at just 16 years of age to then be able to transfer that with such dazzling assurance against the biggest names in front of thousands of raucous fans and millions more watching on television on the biggest stage in darts is dumbfounding.

But there’s more. Because he has even managed to take his entire hometown on this glorious adventure with him, garnering support from the people of Warrington like nobody before him at his age.

Littler mania, which has also spread nationally and overseas in the space of a fortnight during a PDC World Darts Championship that will never be forgotten, can only be compared slightly, locally, to Andrew Johns’ brief spell with Warrington Wolves in 2005.

But that was arguably manufactured mania, with one of the best rugby league players in the world paid big bucks to bring his special abilities to The Halliwell Jones Stadium in a bid to improve the team’s chances for an unexpected and highly ambitious all-out push in the play-offs.

Warrington Guardian: Andrew 'Joey' Johns mania struck Warrington in 2005Andrew 'Joey' Johns mania struck Warrington in 2005 (Image: Mike Boden, Newsquest)

It is different with ‘The Nuke’, he’s one of our own, he’s created this amazing opportunity for himself and won the hearts of the town in the process.

The impact he has already had is breathtaking and the signs all point to this continuing for 20, 30, 40 years to come.

Warringtonians love that he is painting the town in such a brilliant light in what are quite difficult times to live. Television, radio, newspaper, online and social media content is saturated with the teenager’s amazing journey.

The pride felt for residents in being from Warrington and being a fan of ‘The Nuke’ must have risen 10 fold since the great eruption.

He is changing people’s lives. People who have never had an interest in darts have suddenly been converted and glued to the action, learning all about the sport and soaking it all in on the hoof.

It is difficult to imagine how life will change for him in the coming days, weeks and months. Safe to say, the people he has around him and looking out for his best interests will be crucial.

So far he has taken everything in his stride, which is a credit to him and his upbringing with parents Anthony and Lisa.

He has handled everything that has been thrown at him, including being put under huge pressure in Tuesday’s semi-final by 2018 world champion Rob Cross and in last night's final against world number one Luke Humphries.

For the first time in the tournament in that semi he lost the first set, looked to be misfiring and was under serious threat in the second set too.

This was the moment when everybody saw what Littler had in his locker, that he could deal with the on-stage strain at such a crucial moment in the biggest of events at such a tender age.

He found the answer and turned the tide, knocking the spirit of Cross at a point where he was looking in command and ready to kick-on.

It was a similar story in the final, going a set down but fighting back brilliantly and leading 4-2 at one stage.

Such character, such resilience, such determination, such know-how.

If ‘The Nuke’ can continue to deliver in this way Warrington could well be celebrating the town’s greatest ever sports star in the years to come.