Anton Walkes’ grieving team-mate pays emotional tribute

Charlotte FC’s Andre Shinyashiki gave a heartbreaking tribute to Anton Walkes after the former Tottenham and Portsmouth defender died in a boating accident in Florida.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Walkes was found unconscious after two boats crashed near Miami Marine Stadium around 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Walkes, who has a baby daughter named Ayla with girlfriend Alexis, received CPR from Miami Fire Rescue on Wednesday before being rushed to the hospital but died early Thursday.

Among a variety of tributes, Shinyashiki shared one of his own on Instagram, saying he already “misses” Walkes’ laughter and “jokes.”

“Bro I promised myself I wouldn’t write a BS cliche post but I need to get this off my chest,” Shinyashiki wrote.

“For me, that’s not a Charlotte FC player, that was one of my best friends. I already miss your laughter, your jokes, sitting next to you in the dining room and enjoying our time together.

“I don’t know how I’m supposed to look in your locker and not see you, I don’t know how I’m supposed to go to practice every day when you’re not there.

‘I’m sorry I couldn’t help you, I will love you forever and honor your name while I can.’

He added: “Rest in peace my brother, thank you for the memories we created together, thank you for always being there for me, thank you for letting me be a part of your life, for better or for worse.


A Walkes banner was also installed on the outside of Bank of America Stadium

An image of Walkes was projected onto the outside of Bank of America Stadium

Fans gathered in front of Charlotte's Bank of America Stadium to lay scarves and floral tributes

Fans gathered in front of Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium to lay scarves and floral tributes

A tribute card said

A tribute card said “Thank you for the memories” as fans gathered ahead of a planned vigil

“God’s plan is not always what we think, life won’t be the same without you here, you just need to know that you were a special person and that I would do anything to have you here with us again.

‘Thank you for everything. We will miss you. AW5 1997-2023’

Fans held a vigil outside Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium on Thursday while teammates headed out to a 12-day training camp in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Another of Walkes’ teammates, Jaylin Lindsey, said the news of Walkes’ death left him “heartbroken”.

‘Broken heart. Fly high my brother, you are the best teammate I could have asked for. Love you man,” Lindsey tweeted.

Brandt Bronico, another teammate, wrote: “Absolutely heartbroken. Thank you for being such a great teammate, friend, leader and person. Rest in peace, brother.’

The news shook all MLS teams, with Colorado Rapids observing a minute’s silence in his honor on Thursday.

“We are heartbroken at the loss of Anton Walkes, a truly incredible father, a loving person and an outstanding human being,” Charlotte’s sporting director Zoran Krneta said in a statement on Thursday.

“Anton embodied what it means to be a part of Charlotte Football Club and our entire community mourns this tragedy.

Walkes, an Englishman of Jamaican descent, has a young daughter, Ayla, with his girlfriend Alexis

Walkes was found unconscious after two boats crashed near Miami Marine Stadium

The crash of two boats occurred around 3 p.m. Wednesday near Miami Marine Stadium

The crash of two boats occurred around 3 p.m. Wednesday near Miami Marine Stadium


Born: February 8, 1997

Place of birth: Lewisham, London

position: defender


2016-18 – Tottenham Hotspur

2017 – Atlanta United (LOAN)

2018 – Portsmouth (LOAN)

2018-20 – Portsmouth

2020-21 -Atlanta United

2022 -Charlotte F.C

“The impact he left in the dressing room and throughout Charlotte will never be forgotten. We are thinking of his dear family at this time and will give them our fullest support in any way we can.’

A statement about it from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission detailed the sequence of events after the crash.

“At approximately 3:00 p.m. on January 18, 2023, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officials responded to a two-vessel accident near the Miami Marine Stadium basin.

“The driver of one of the vessels, Anton C. Walkes of Charlotte, North Carolina, was found unconscious and taken ashore by the Miami Fire Rescue, where he was resuscitated.

‘Mr. Walkes was taken to a local hospital, where he later died from his injuries. Our thoughts are with Mr Walkes’ family, friends and fans at this difficult time.

“This is an active investigation and no further information is available at this time.”

In its own statement, Major League Soccer expressed its pain at the “tragic” news of Walkes’ death early Thursday following the South Florida boating accident.

“There are no words today to describe the sadness of everyone in Major League Soccer after learning of the tragic death of Charlotte FC’s Anton Walkes,” the statement said.

“Anton was a talented and dedicated player who was loved by his teammates and fans. We send 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 need at this tragic time.”

Walkes turned professional in 2016 and began his career at Tottenham Hotspur’s academy in England.

“We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former player Anton Walkes,” Tottenham wrote in their honor.

“The thoughts of everyone at the club are with his family and friends at this incredibly sad time.”

Walkes (left) is survived by his girlfriend Alexis (center) and their daughter Ayla (right)

Walkes (left) is survived by his girlfriend Alexis (center) and their daughter Ayla (right)


Several athletes have been seriously injured in boating accidents in Florida in the past.

In 1993, the Cleveland Indians’ Steve Olin and Los Angeles Dodgers’ Tim Crews were killed in a boating accident on Little Lake Nellie in Clermont, Florida. The collision also injured another pitcher, Bob Ojeda of Cleveland.

In 2009, the US Coast Guard reported a missing boat off the Gulf Coast near Clearwater. The ship carried Oakland Raiders linebacker Marquis Cooper, Detroit Lions defenseman Corey Smith, and former University of South Florida football players Nick Schuyler and Will Bleakley.

The boat was later found capsized the following day, with Schuyler holding on to the hull. The other three passengers all died.

In 2016, Marlins pitcher José Fernández died with two other men in an accident near Miami Beach.

Premier League first-team players wore black armbands in Thursday’s loss to Premier League rivals Manchester City. All of their academy teams will also wear black armbands at the weekend.

After his stint at Tottenham, he was loaned to Atlanta United and Portsmouth before becoming permanent at both clubs.

On December 14, 2021, Walkes was picked up by Charlotte ahead of their inaugural season as part of the expansion draft. Walkes started in 21 games for Charlotte last season.

They finished six points behind the playoffs in the Eastern Conference.

Charlotte FC owner David Tepper said: “Everyone at Tepper Sports & Entertainment is devastated by the tragic death of Anton Walkes. He was a great son, father, partner and teammate whose bright attitude to life touched everyone he met.

‘Anton made those around him better people in all walks of life and represented Charlotte FC at the highest level on and off the pitch.

“He will be greatly missed by many and our thoughts and prayers are with Anton’s family at this heartbreaking time.

“The association offers its full support to all those affected during this time of mourning.”

Charlotte will play a pre-season game against expansion team St. Louis City on Saturday before playing their season-opener game against New England Revolution on February 25. It’s unclear if that game will be unaffected following Walke’s death. Anton Walkes’ grieving team-mate pays emotional tribute

Maureen Mackey

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