'Next best thing' - World champion revels in Leeds United experience during Elland Road walk-on

Getty Images
Professional Darts Corporation world champion and Leeds United supporter Luke Humphries paraded the Sid Waddell trophy on the pitch at Elland Road during half-time of their game with Preston North End.

The 28-year-old, aptly nicknamed 'Cool Hand Luke' showed off the PDC trophy in front of supporters at his beloved Elland Road on Sunday afternoon, describing the experience as the 'next best thing' to playing for the club.

Humphries defeated 17-year-old darts prodigy Luke Littler at Alexandra Palace earlier this month to clinch his first world championship, having already won the World Grand Prix, the Players' Championship and Grand Slam of Darts in 2023.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Invited onto the pitch at half-time in Leeds' Championship fixture against Preston, Humphries said: "It feels amazing. I was never going to be stepping onto this pitch as a footballer so this is the next best thing for me."

Last year, following Humphries' victory over Gerwyn Price in the Grand Prix, the Leeds fan said: "If I get the opportunity to walk out in Leeds, everyone knows that it’s something I will look forward to more than anything.

“It would be a special, special night, Leeds United Football Club is in my heart and I’ve followed the club my whole life. If I do get that chance, I’ve got my shirt planned ready for it and I think everyone will know what music I plan to walk out to, as well, if I am allowed.

"I think everyone knows I am named after the club, that’s no secret. My dad named me Luke, which stands for [L]eeds [U]nited [K]ings of [E]urope. I am not from Leeds, but the club really was in me from birth."

The world No. 1 was also designated Leeds' official special guest for Sunday afternoon's fixture against the Deepdale club.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.