World championship favourite on his ‘stage presence’ secrets and how mental health struggles have improved his darts
Luke Humphries remembers the day he felted his last roof. It was 1 March 2018: the day before his first UK Open, his first major tournament as a professional. Roofing was in the blood: his father, Mark, worked on the roofs, and so did his brother, Stuart, and ever since leaving school five years earlier so had he. Start at 6am, home at 5pm. But he had always felt a higher calling. At the end of his shift he clocked off, hoping never to clock on again.
So began a journey that would take Humphries from the roofs of Newbury to the roof of the darting world. On Sunday night, when he begins his world championship campaign, his introduction to the crowd will take a little longer than usual. The new World Grand Prix champion; the new Grand Slam champion; the new Players Championship Finals champion: a remarkable hot streak that has made the 28-year-old the bookmakers’ favourite to end the festive season at the very top of the tree.