Major League Soccer Player Anton Walkes Dies at Age 25
A soccer player with the Charlotte, North Carolina, franchise of Major League Soccer died in a south Florida boating accident, the team announced Thursday.
Anton Walkes, with the Charlotte FC, was found unconscious after two boats collided near Miami Marine Stadium on Wednesday, according to The Miami Herald.
He was 25.
We are deeply saddened to share that Anton Walkes has tragically passed away this morning.
May he rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/8oUcHvWW6g
— Charlotte FC (@CharlotteFC) January 19, 2023
“We are deeply saddened to share that Anton Walkes has tragically passed away this morning,” Charlotte FC announced in a Twitter post. “May he rest in peace.”
According to the Herald, the collision took place around 3 p.m., and Anton received CPR from Miami Fire Rescue before being rushed to a hospital in critical condition.
According to The Charlotte Observer, Charlotte FC was in Florida for a training camp before the opening of the 2023 season.
The club is owned by David Tepper, owner of Tepper Sports and Entertainment and the NFL’s Carolina Panthers. In a statement, Tepper saluted Anton’s behavior on and off the soccer field.
“He was a tremendous son, father, partner and teammate, whose joyous approach to life touched everyone he met,” the statement said, according to the Herald.
“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.”
Before playing in the United States, Walkes played in England for the Tottenham Hotspurs and the Portsmouth Football Club, according to the Observer.
On social media, tributes poured in from Major League Soccer teams, journalists and fans:
Forever in our hearts, Anton Walkes
The LA Galaxy send their love and condolences to Anton’s loved ones and the Charlotte FC community. pic.twitter.com/SA3nP763Ce
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) January 19, 2023
Anton Walkes was a wonderful person and player.
The entire Union family sends our condolences to his family, friends, the Charlotte FC organization, and everyone else his life touched in the soccer community. https://t.co/YVathi3Qgn pic.twitter.com/EwE0tjgEvT
— PhilaUnion (@PhilaUnion) January 19, 2023</a
Took this photo of Anton Walkes at #atlutd‘s 2020 season-opener in Nashville for @ProSoccerUSAcom.
I didn’t know him well, but he was always a great guy to talk to. pic.twitter.com/bAKYBqlyGh
— Mitchell Northam (@primetimeMitch) January 19, 2023
“It doesn’t matter if we lost or won, he was always full of energy, just happy to play the game he loved.” –@FKNTORO
“He was a bright light on and off the pitch, and we will miss him.” –@MintCityColl
More as the world reacts to Walkes’ sudden death: https://t.co/X2IprcxtAN
— Alex Zietlow (@alexzietlow05) January 19, 2023
Rest in peace Anton Walkes. Such shocking and very sad news. My thoughts are with Anton’s family and friends.https://t.co/rAH3gabGsR
— Lennon Branagan (@LMcCand) January 19, 2023
Walkes’ death, though apparently accidental, comes at a time of numerous deaths of young athletes and entertainers around the country, heightening sensitivity to the issue.
According to CBS News, the cause of the collision is under investigation.
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