Charlotte FC defender Anton Walkes died Thursday at age 25, the team announced:
Walkes was killed in a boating accident near Miami Marine Stadium, according to David J. Neal of the Miami Herald. He was found unconscious after two boats collided around 3 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
Charlotte sporting director Zoran Krneta released a statement:
"We are 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. 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."
Walkes was heading into his second season with Charlotte after joining the team in the 2021 MLS Expansion Draft. He appeared in 23 matches last year, starting 21 while ranking sixth on the team in total minutes.
The England-born player spent the previous two years with Atlanta United, scoring two goals across 50 matches.
Walkes began his professional career with Tottenham Hotspur, joining the club as a 16-year-old in 2013 and remaining on the books for five years, spending the majority of that time with the youth teams or on loan. He didn't appear in the Premier League and made one EFL Cup appearance with Tottenham.
He spent two-and-a-half seasons with Portsmouth in League One before making the move to MLS.