Anton Walkes, Charlotte FC defender, dies at 25
Anton Walkes, a defender who played for Major League Soccer team Charlotte FC, died Thursday from injuries he sustained in a boating accident in Miami. He was 25.
He was in Florida with the team as part of a training camp, in preparation for the upcoming season. According to the Miami Herald, Walkes was critically injured in a boating crash near the Miami Marine Stadium on Wednesday afternoon. Walkes was reportedly found unconscious after two boats collided. Rescue workers administered CPR and rushed him to a hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
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. Anton was a talented and dedicated player who was loved by his teammates and fans. pic.twitter.com/9S7hT3fMiM— Major League Soccer (@MLS) January 19, 2023
Walkes began his career in England with the Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. He joined the MLS in 2020 with Atlanta United FC. Last year, he started 21 games and had 23 appearances for Charlotte FC.
“Everyone at Tepper Sports & Entertainment is devastated by the tragic passing of Anton Walkes. He was a tremendous son, father, partner and teammate whose joyous approach to life touched everyone he met,” said team owner David Tepper, in a statement.
“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,” said Tepper.
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In his final postgame press conference last year, Walkes praised the Charlotte FC fans.
"I think the drive when we was attacking, you could hear them, just, there's so much more encouragement and they've been amazing all year," said Walkes. "It was great to really, you know, walk around at the end and say thank you to the older fans. You know, they stayed out longer to make sure they could applaud us, too. And I think the bond is really improving and obviously there's more to come because if you can get some success, that's a great way for us to repay them."