Charlotte FC have announced English defender Anton Walkes has died at the age of 25.
Walkes was discovered unconscious following a crash of two boats near Miami Marine Stadium, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Miami Herald detailed that Walkes received CPR from Miami Fire Rescue Wednesday but died early Thursday.
‘We are heartbroken from the loss of Anton Walkes, a truly incredible father, loving person, and outstanding human being,’ Charlotte’s sporting director Zoran Krneta said in a statement. ‘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.’
In their own statement, Major League Soccer expressed their pain at the ‘tragic’ news of Walkes’ death early Thursday, following an accident in South Florida.
‘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,’ the statement read.
‘Anton was a talented and dedicated player who was loved by his teammates and fans. We extend our deepest condolences to his partner, family, friends and the entire Charlotte FC family.
‘MLS is coordinating with Charlotte FC to provide players and family members with the resources and support they may need during this tragic time.’
Walkes turned professional in 2016 and began his career being nurtured through Tottenham Hotspur’s academy in England.
From there he had loan spells with Atlanta United and Portsmouth, before going on to have permanent spells at both clubs.
On December 14, 2021, Walkes was picked up by Charlotte as part of the expansion draft.
Last season, Walkes started 21 games for Charlotte.