Charlotte FC’s Anton Walkes dies in boating accident

The 25-year-old defender was injured when two boats collided Wednesday in Miami

Charlotte FC defender Anton Walkes during the second half of an MLS soccer match against the Houston Dynamo Sunday, July 3, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)

Charlotte FC defender Anton Walkes died following a boating accident early Thursday in Florida, the team announced. Walkes was seriously injured when two boats collided in Miami on Wednesday afternoon, the Miami Herald reported. He was 25.

Walkes played 23 matches in the team’s inaugural Major League Soccer season. A native of Lewisham, England, Walkes played one game with Tottenham of the Premier League in 2016 before being loaned to Atlanta United of MLS. After two-plus seasons with Portsmouth of second-division League One, Walkes returned to Atlanta United before being selected by Charlotte in the MLS Expansion Draft.

“Everyone at Tepper Sports & Entertainment is devastated by the tragic passing of Anton Walkes,” Charlotte FC said in a statement. “He was a tremendous son, father, partner and teammate whose joyous approach to life touched everyone he met,” said Owner David Tepper. “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.

“We are heartbroken from the loss of Anton Walkes, a truly incredible father, loving person, and outstanding human being,” said 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.”