Anton Walkes, defender for Major League Soccer team Charlotte FC, has died at age 25, the team announced in a statement.
“Charlotte Football Club can confirm the tragic and heartbreaking news that defender Anton Walkes passed away early Thursday morning following a crash in South Florida,” the statement read.
Charlotte FC owner David Tepper described Walkes as a “tremendous son, father, partner and teammate whose joyful approach to life touched everyone he met.
“He will be greatly missed by many and our thoughts and prayers are with Anton’s family during this heartbreaking time,” Tepper added. “The Club offers its full support to all those affected during this period of mourning.”
Walkes rose through the youth ranks of Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur, before playing for Portsmouth and Atlanta United.
Walkes moved to the United States to join Atlanta on loan in 2017, the team’s first season in MLS, then joined the club permanently in 2020 after another spell at Portsmouth.
Walkes then joined Charlotte FC for the 2022 MLS season.
“We are heartbroken to learn of the tragic passing of Anton Walkes,” his former club Atlanta said in a statement. “An inaugural member of Atlanta United, Anton was the epitome of a great teammate with a personality that lit up every room he walked into.
“He will be sorely missed by all who knew him. On behalf of everyone at Atlanta United, we send our deepest condolences to Anton’s family, friends and Charlotte FC.”
Zoran Krneta, Charlotte FC’s sporting director, said the club is “heartbroken” at the loss of “a truly incredible father, loving person and exceptional human being.”
“Anton embodied what it means to be a part of the Charlotte Football Club and our entire community is grieving over this tragedy,” Krneta added.
“The impact he had on the locker room and on all of Charlotte will never be forgotten. We are thinking of her lovely family during this time and will fully support them in every way imaginable.”
More to continue…