‘Tremendous son, father, partner and teammate’: How a tragic boat crash killed beloved MLS and Premier League star Anton Walkes at 25

Obit Walkes Soccer (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
Obit Walkes Soccer (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

MLS defender Anton Walkes, 25, died after a boat crash in Miami.

Walkes played for the Major League Soccer team Charlotte FC. The club confirmed his death on Thursday after he died Wednesday afternoon in a boat crash.

Here’s everything we know about Walkes’ fatal accident.

The Crash

Walkes was driving a boat in Miami when it collided with another boat, according to local media reports.

Members of the Florida Fish and Wildlife agency found Walkes unconscious around 3pm shortly after the accident, according to The Miami Herald.

Miami Fire Rescue performed CPR on Walkes before he was rushed to a hospital in critical condition. He died in the hospital.

Walkes was reportedly in the area for a 12-day pre-season training camp in Fort Lauderdale with Charlotte FC before the accident, according to The Charlotte Observer.

Memorials

Numerous former colleagues issued statements acknowledging and remembering Walkes.

Charlotte FC announced Walkes’ death in a statement on Thursday.

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

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

The statement continued, saying Walkes "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 hear-breaking time," Mr Tepper said.

The club’s sporting director, Zoran Krneta, said the organisation was "heartbroken from the loss of Anton Walkes, a truly incredible father, loving person, and outstanding human being."

"Anton embodied what it means to be a part of Charlotte Football Club and our entire community is grieving over this tragedy," he said.

MLS also noted the player’s death, saying "there are no words to describe the sorrow 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," the league said.

Tottenham, one of his former teams, also issued a tweet remembering Walkes.

"We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former player Anton Walkes. The thoughts of everyone at the Club are with his family and friends at this incredibly sad time," the club said.

Portsmouth also added its thoughts to the outpouring of memorials for Walkes.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

"Everyone at Portsmouth Football Club is extremely saddened to learn of the passing of Anton Walkes," the club said in a tweet. "Our thoughts are with his friends and family at this difficult time."

Career

Walkes was born in London, and began his career playing with Tottenham Hotspur in 2013.

He made his on-field debut In 2016 with Tottenham before he was loaned to Atlanta United for his 2017 season.

He then went on to play for Portsmouth, who signed him permanently in 2018. He helped the team win an EEL Trophy in 2019, and the next year returned to Atlanta United in 2020.

Two years later, he was signed to Charlotte FC, where he played until his death in 2023.