Anton Walkes, 25, a rising star in U.S. Major League Soccer, has died. Walkes passed away early Thursday following injuries sustained in a boating accident in Miami.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission staff told the Miami Herald that two boats collided near the Miami Marine Stadium. Walkes was found unconscious soon after the accident. Miami Fire Rescue administered CPR until his transport to a hospital.
Walkes died hours later.
Charlotte FC owner David Tepper released the following statement:
“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.
Tepper continued: “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.”
Charlotte invited Walkes to join their team in 2021. Notably, Walkes started in 21 games during the 2022 season.
Previous to playing with Charlotte, the U.K. native played two seasons with Atlanta United.
Walkes began his professional soccer career playing for Tottenham in the Premier League and the English Club Portsmouth.
According to the Charlotte Observer, Charlotte FC reported that the 2023 season had just begun, and Walkes was participating in a 12-day preseason camp in Fort Lauderdale.
Charlotte sporting director Zoran Krneta said: “We are heartbroken from the loss of Anton Walkes, a truly incredible father, loving person, and outstanding human being.”
Krneta added: “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.”
Major League Soccer posted the following statement on their Twitter page:
“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.”
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