Luke Littler’s World Darts Championship debut captured the attention of an entire nation and sports fans everywhere but we have to admit, we didn’t envisage this fairytale ending with him falling at the final hurdle and having HMRC come along to sweep up nearly half of his winnings.
The teenage darting sensation took home a whopping £200,000 in prize money following his progression all the way to the 2024 PDC World Final but, as is the nature of the income tax here in Britain, that ridiculous amount of money is set to be reduced by almost half.
Sky News reported on Littler’s earnings in his first big senior competition as part of their new live-feed Money Blog on Thursday, 4 January, detailing how the taxman is about to put an £83,000 dent in the runner-up’s impressive prize fund.
Then, less than a couple of hours later, HMRC chimed in with a swift and amusing reminder that his earnings will of course be taxed, leaving plenty annoyed in the comments below.
Investment platform Saxo estimated that Littler will have to part ways with an estimated £76,203 of his winnings, as well as £7,330 going to national insurance, working out to just over £83k in total.
This means that all things considered, the 16-year-old will lose around 45% of his winnings but will still walk away with more than £116k. Nevertheless, plenty online have labelled the post everything from “unnecessary” and “brutal” to simply “inappropriate”.
We’re sure he’ll get over it, but plenty of fans were gutted on his behalf, with one person writing, “It’s really something when your government feels comfortable smugly bragging about how they fuck you over”, and countless others just adding calling them “thieves”.
After all, it’s still more than any teenager would even know what to do with — as proven by the Warrington lad himself when he was asked what he might do with the money.
Luckily, with the sheer talent Luke Littler clearly possesses, not to mention seemingly having his head screwed on even at such a young age, we’re sure he’ll be adding plenty more zeros to those earnings as the years go on — so much so he’ll probably forget who HMRC even is.
Get yourself something sick, a few kebabs here and there, then stick the rest in your savings, mate.
The latest news following his blockbuster final against the newly crowned champions Luke ‘Cool Hand’ Humphries – his first ever PDC World title – is that Sky is now going to be airing a three-part docuseries later this year, giving fans and newcomers a fly-on-the-wall look into the world of darts.
Man United striker Rasmus Højlund set to miss Manchester derby as muscle injury rules him out for ‘two to three weeks’
Man United have suffered a pretty big short-term blow as their in-form forward Rasmus Højlund has been diagnosed with a muscle injury which is set to see him out for “two to three weeks”, meaning he will likely miss the upcoming Manchester derby.
The Danish striker has been running red-hot of late, scoring seven in his last six league games for Man United and now sitting as the club’s top marksman with 13 goals and two assists across all competitions, but just as Erik ten Hag’s side look to have got going, they will now be without him for a spell.
Issuing an update on Friday, 23 February, United confirmed that a muscle injury is “expected to rule him out for two to three weeks”, meaning he will miss this weekend’s fixture against Fulham, the FA Cup fifth round against Nottingham Forest and most likely the Manchester derby.
The Red Devils are currently unbeaten in 2024 and on a run of six wins out of their last seven, with Højlund making the difference in many of them.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s game at Old Trafford, ten Hag went on to explain: “It is a small injury. That is what happens and the risk [when you are] playing at high intensity and training.”
The Dutchman reiterated, “As I say it is not a big injury, but he has to wait for one, two, three weeks”, though Reds will nevertheless be gutted to see the 21-year-old sidelined after having now started finding the net and putting together such an impressive run of performances.
While he emphasised that it is not a “big injury”, the timing couldn’t be more frustrating for a team that looks to be finally gathering some momentum, not only in and around the European places already but right on the trail of those chasing down the Champions League spots.
Højlund’s injury only adds to the club’s ever-growing list of players on the physio’s bench, including Tyrell Malacia, Mason Mount, Lisandro Martinez and another huge setback in Luke Shaw’s long-term hamstring problems.
In contrast, Manchester City have been lofted by comebacks from both Erling Haaland, who is getting back on the scoresheet once again, and midfielder maestro Kevin De Bruyne as they look to step up the pressure on league leaders Liverpool.
The treble-winners were always going to be putting in a very strong title defence but the return of KDB has reminded football fans just exactly how good he is. The Belgian was left on the bench against Brentford due to “minor niggles” but you can fully expect him to be raring to go come derby day.
Stockport County create a new community mural with young street artists in Edgeley
Stockport County is creating a brand new mural with a group of young street artists from the local area and a little help from one of their squad members.
This past February half-term, the Greater Manchester football club enlisted the help of some schoolkids and aspiring artists, along with local creatives from around the area to create a brand new piece of artwork right in the heart of the community.
With some paint, plenty of spray cans and the expertise of Manc muralist and designer, Oskar With A K, and poet Ruth Awolola, a dozen local secondary school pupils helped write, design and paint the mural — taking inspiration directly from the club and the thriving fan culture in Stockport.
There is no chant more iconic and important to the Hatters than their famous ‘The Scarf My Father Worse’ song and that’s exactly what the local artists have decided to immortalise.
The painting process began on Friday, 16 February and, as you can see, they even managed to rope in County defender Ethan Pye came along to lend a hand with the mural, armed with a can of spray paint to help the young people bring their ideas to life.
Being developed by the Stockport County Community Trust in collaboration with North West organisations, GRIT Studios and The Writing Squad, ‘The Scarf My Father Wore’ project has received £14,800 from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.
Popping in a prime location on the corner of Castle Street and Mercian Way — just metres away from the Edgeley Park stadium and right at the beginning of the local village high street — this vibrant work of art will be passed by thousands of commuters and pedestrians every day.
Being brought to life in brilliant blue and white in line with the club’s colour scheme and proudly printing the title of the famous chant on the wall along with stencils of the County crest, footballs and many other details, it sits pride of place in the Stockport suburb.
Much like the historic chant and the symbolic scarf itself, this brilliant piece of street art will be passed down and enjoyed by generations to come, as well as make sure the club continues to play a key role in local culture.
County’s Community Trust CEO Alison Warwood said: “This project shows how art and writing by young people can make a real difference to the local community, and I can’t wait to see the end result.”
John Macaulay from GRIT Studios added: “We’re thrilled to be involved in such a collaborative and community-spirited initiative. Our young artists will be helping to create a lasting landmark that will become a focal point in Edgeley for years to come.”
With the Hatters currently top of the League Two table and looking at yet another promotion season, there feels like no better time for fans to wear the club on their sleeve, their scarves around their necks and now up on the wall too.