Charlotte FC player Anton Walkes dead at 25 following a reported boating accident in Miami

Charlotte FC player Anton Walkes dead at 25 following a

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Charlotte FC player Anton Walkes has died at the age of 25, Major League Soccer and his club announced on Thursday. Walkes was involved in a boating accident in South Florida on Wednesday, according to The Miami Herald. The English defender, who had been in MLS since 2020 after an initial loan spell in 2017, joined The Crown for their expansion season in 2022.  

“Everyone at Tepper Sports and Entertainment is devastated by the tragic passing of Anton Walkes,” said Charlotte FC owner David Tepper in a club statement. “He was a tremendous son, father, partner and team-mate whose joyous approach to life touched everyone he met. Anton made those around him better people in all areas of life and represented Charlotte FC to the highest standard both on and off the pitch. He will be greatly missed by many and our thoughts and prayers are with Anton’s family during this heartbreaking time. The club offers its full support to all those impacted during this period of mourning.”

Walkes started his career with Tottenham Hotspur before his first taste of MLS life in 2017 with Atlanta United on loan and then a spell with Portsmouth. A permanent switch to the Five Stripes followed in 2020 before Charlotte picked the Lewisham native in their 2021 Expansion Draft.

“There are no words to describe the sorrow of everyone in Major League Soccer today after learning of the tragic passing of Anton Walkes of Charlotte FC,” read an MLS statement. “Anton was a talented and dedicated player who was loved by his teammates and fans. We extend our deepest condolences to his partner, family, friends and the entire Charlotte FC family. MLS is coordinating with Charlotte FC to provide players and family members with the resources and support they may need during this tragic time.”

Walkes turned professional in 2016 and made one senior appearance with Spurs having come through the London club’s academy. He joined Pompey on a permanent deal after his loan spell and made 93 MLS appearances in total.

“We are heartbroken from the loss of Anton Walkes, a truly incredible father, loving person, and outstanding human being,” said Charlotte’s sporting director Zoran Krneta. “Anton embodied what it means to be a part of Charlotte Football Club and our entire community is grieving over this tragedy. The impact he made in the locker room and throughout Charlotte will never be forgotten. We are thinking of his lovely family during this time and will support them fully in every way imaginable.”

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission stated that Walkes was found unconscious on Wednesday afternoon after two boats collided near Miami Marine Stadium, per The Miami Herald. Miami Fire Rescue attempted CPR before the player was hospitalized in critical condition but was confirmed dead on Thursday.

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