By Michael Lewis

FrontRowSoccer.com Editor

Charlotte FC defender Anton Walkes died after an accident in South Florida Thursday morning, the Major League Soccer team announced in a press release.

He was 25.

In a press release, Charlotte FC called it “tragic and heartbreaking news.”

Walkes died in a boating accident on near Miami Marine Stadium.

The Miami Herald reported Walkes was found unconscious after two vessels collided around 3 p.m. Wednesday, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The defender received CPR from Miami Fire Rescue before he was hospitalized in critical condition, the newspaper said.

The 6-2, 181-lb. Walkes was preparing for his fifth MLS season after playing for Portsmouth in England. He also played once for Tottenham in a Football League Cup match in 2016, but never participated in an English Premier League contest.

Walkes joined Atlanta United in 2017 and returned to play in 2020-21. He signed with Charlotte FC last season in which he played 23 matches.

“Everyone at Tepper Sports & Entertainment is devastated by the tragic passing of Anton Walkes. He was a tremendous son, father, partner and teammate whose joyous approach to life touched everyone he met,” owner David Tepper said in a prepared statement. “Anton made those around him better people in all areas of life and represented Charlotte FC to the highest standard both on and off the pitch. He will be greatly missed by many and our thoughts and prayers are with Anton’s family during this heartbreaking time. The club offers its full support to all those impacted during this period of mourning.”

Added Charlotte FC sporting director Zoran Krneta: “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.”

For more information, visit: www.miamiherald.com/sports/mls/article271362652.html#storylink=cpy