Boating Accident Kills Charlotte Soccer Player

Team owner praises Anton Walkes' 'joyous approach to life'
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 19, 2023 5:47 PM CST
Charlotte FC Player Dies After Boating Accident
An image of Anton Walkes is shown on Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte on Thursday.   (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)

A Major League Soccer player for Charlotte FC has died after a boating accident in Florida. Anton Walkes was 25. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said in a statement that its officers responded to an accident involving two vessels near the Miami Marine Stadium basin on Wednesday afternoon. Walkes, who was unconscious, was taken ashore by Miami Fire Rescue and given CPR, CNN reports. He later died at a hospital. The agency said Walkes had been operating one of the boats, per ESPN. It wasn't clear whether anyone else was hurt in the accident.

Walkes was a "tremendous son, father, partner and teammate whose joyous approach to life touched everyone he met," Charlotte FC owner David Tepper said. Walkes joined Charlotte in time for the club's first MLS season in 2022. The London native, a defender, played in 23 matches, starting 21 of them last season, when he had five shots on goal. "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," Tepper said. Major League Soccer issued a statement calling Walkes "a talented and dedicated player who was loved by his teammates and fans." (More Major League Soccer stories.)

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