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Luke Littler now FAVOURITE to win World Darts Championship after Michael van Gerwen dumped out in worst loss in 13 year

SLOPPY Michael van Gerwen was kicked out of Ally Pally by Scott ‘Shaggy’ Williams – and it means Luke Littler is now the title favourite.

The provisional world No.1 was beaten 5-3 by the world No.52 in a gigantic quarter-final upset of the PDC World Darts Championship.

Tournament favourite Michael van Gerwen was dumped out by Scott Williams

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Tournament favourite Michael van Gerwen was dumped out by Scott WilliamsCredit: AP
Williams is through to the semi-final

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Williams is through to the semi-finalCredit: AP
Luke Littler is now the favourite to win the tournament

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Luke Littler is now the favourite to win the tournamentCredit: PA

Boston-born Williams, 33, produced the performance of his life to knock out the Dutchman and blow open the bottom half of the draw.

It means 16-year-old Littler, at odds of just 13/8, is the person top of the money charts as far as sponsors Paddy Power are concern.

Van Gerwen’s loss – 10 years to the day since he won his first of three world crowns – is his worst in terms of rankings since a 2010 first-round exit to then unranked Mensur Suljovic.

What a result for Williams, who sealed the result on double 16, and now faces either Luke Humphries or Dave Chisnall.

It means there will be an all-English semi-final line-up and a guaranteed home-grown winner.

There is a bad boy lurking within relative unknown Williams, who has Batman and Joker tattoos on his arms.

In the past he has been fined for making inappropriate gestures.

And he may well be done at a future date for making reference to a vile football chant following his win over German Martin Schindler after Christmas.

In the other early game Rob Cross produced a stunning comeback to make the semi-finals and then vowed to kill another fairy-tale story.

Voltage, 33, found himself 4-0 down to Chris Dobey and staring at a damaging quarter-final exit.

But incredibly the eighth seed won the next five sets in a row, prevailing in the eighth leg of set nine.

In the 2018 world final, Cross crushed the heart of the legendary Phil Taylor 7-2 in his retirement match.

The former electrician will now want to play the role of Grinch again to stop the rise of Luke Littler.

The Hastings thrower said: “Everyone loves an underdog story. As the public and people looking at the game, everyone loves an underdog story.

“I’m not being rude, I’m on his side, I love an underdog story.

“Luke is amazing, he’s 16 years old. I have a boy who is four years younger. Whatever he achieves, he is going to have a bright future.

“He’s fantastic and he deserves all the luck in the world, he is a nice young boy. “Tomorrow we play darts, though, and I have to go down to business.

“In terms of the comeback, it was 100% the best I’ve ever had. At one point, it didn’t seem likely for me, but then it did.

“I’m not going to swear but I have got nerves of steel.”

Cross is the first player to come from four sets behind to prevail at the Worlds since James Wade surrendered a 5-1 advantage to Adrian Lewis in the semi-finals in 2012.

It brought back demons of the time Dobey led Cross 8-2 in the 2022 World Matchplay first round but then lost somehow 11-9.

Hollywood, 33, said: “I’m absolutely devastated to lose that one.

“Another tough one to take but I managed to overcome that last defeat like that so I’m sure I’ll overcome this minor setback.

“I think at 4-0 down Rob went into relaxed mode and he played with freedom, which made him play a lot better than he had been.

“I didn’t do a lot wrong but there were too many times I missed one or two doubles at crucial times. Credit where it’s due, Rob was fantastic.

“I’ll come back stronger. I’ve moved into the top 16 now and I’ll keep building on that.”

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