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Teenage sensation Bennett refuses to back down over oche celebrations

Phil Lanning in Darts Interviews 12 Mar 2019
Wonderkid Bennett celebrates (credit:Taylor Lanning)
Leighton Bennett has vowed to continue his wild celebrations on stage despite being advised to calm down.
The hottest prospect on planet darts was crowned BDO World Youth Champion in January following victory over Scotland’s Nathan Girvan at Lakeside.
The 13-year-old ran across the stage and leapt in the air after throwing the winning dart and came in for criticism on social media for being “cocky”.
The youngster, who plays Phil Taylor in a special head-to-head at the Tower of London on March 19, has vowed to carry on celebrating.
“I was quite surprised to see some of the comments I got on social media, lots of fans said I was too cocky,” Bennett told Live Darts.
“I’m really not like that, I just got carried away in the moment. It’s not every day a 13-year-old gets to win a World Championship!
“It was definitely the best moment of my life so far, but I’m not getting carried away at all – my feet are definitely on the ground.
“I’ve got good people around me including Rob Cross. He’s been an amazing mentor and he gives me quite a lot of stick as well, that certainly stops me from ever being arrogant!
“I won’t stop my celebrations though. I know that Gerwyn Price was fined for his celebrations in the Grand Slam but I think players have to show their emotions.
“Winning is such a huge buzz, I don’t think I’ll be able to stop leaping around.”
Bennett is also ready to give the legendary Taylor a big battle in their SAP ‘Power at the Tower’ show-down.
He added: “I’m really looking forward to playing Phil. I’ve played Rob and James Wade previously but this is very special to me.
“I think the main thing is to make sure I don’t respect him too much and just to play my own game.
“I’m learning not to let any occasion get to me. The Tower of London will be such an amazing venue.
“Phil has already joked to me that he’s going to leave me hung, drawn and quartered in the Tower. He’s started his mind games but all the pressure is on him.”