Charlotte FC defender Anton Walkes dies aged 25

BREAKING NEWS: Charlotte FC defender Anton Walkes dies at the age of 25 after a boating accident in Florida on Thursday morning, while tributes arrive for the former Tottenham and Portsmouth player

Charlotte FC have announced that England defender Anton Walkes has died aged 25.

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

Walkes received CPR from Miami Fire Rescue on Wednesday but died early Thursday.

“We are heartbroken by 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.

Charlotte FC's England defender Anton Walkes has died aged 25 after a boating accident in Miami

Charlotte FC’s England defender Anton Walkes has died aged 25 after a boating accident in Miami

Walkes, an England defender who started at Tottenham Hotspur, died early Thursday

Walkes, an England defender who started at Tottenham Hotspur, died early Thursday

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

“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.’

DailyMail.com has reached out to Miami Fire Rescue for comment.

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

“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.

Walkes (left) was born in Lewisham, London and came from Tottenham's academy

Walkes (left) was born in Lewisham, London and came from Tottenham’s academy

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“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.”

Less than 24 hours ago, Walkes shared a photo of him exercising on his Instagram story.

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

From there he was loaned out to Atlanta United and Portsmouth before being permanently with both clubs.

On December 14, 2021, Walkes was picked up by Charlotte as part of the expansion design.

Walkes started in 21 games for Charlotte last season.

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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.”

In their own statement, Atlanta United, where Walkes started 64 of 70 games in his two spells there, said: “We are heartbroken to learn of the tragic death of Anton Walkes.

“As a founding 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 greatly missed by all who knew him. On behalf of everyone at Atlanta United, we extend our deepest condolences to Anton’s family, friends and Charlotte FC.”

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Maureen Mackey

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