Anton Walkes: ex-Tottenham and Portsmouth defender dies in Miami Boat crash aged 25

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Charlotte FC footballer Anton Walkes has died at the age of 25

The 25-year-old footballer Anton Walkes has died after a boating accident on the waters near Miami Marine Stadium. Walkes was involved in the crash on Wednesday 18 January and his side Charlotte FC in Major League Soccer announced the news of his death on Thursday morning.

According to local news outlet the Miami Herald, the Florida Fish and Wildife Conservation Commission said the footballer had been found unconscious after two vessels collided around 3pm Wednesday. Walkes is said to have received CPR from the Miami Fire Rescue before being hospitalised in critical condition.

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The Charlotte Observer has also added that Wales was in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area with his football team as the MLS side held a 12-day training camp in Fort Lauderdale ahead of the 2023 preseason.

Who was Anton Walkes?

Born in Lewisham, London, in 1997, Walkes began his career with Tottenham Hotspur in 2013 and made his first, and only first team appearance on 21 September 2016 during an EFL Cup match against Gillingham. He captained the youth squad three times during the group stage of the UEFA Youth League, featuring in their U21 and U23 squads, and signed a two year extension with the club which would have seen him at Spurs until 2019.

Walkes playing for Charlotte FC in April 2022Walkes playing for Charlotte FC in April 2022
Walkes playing for Charlotte FC in April 2022 | Getty Images

In 2017 he was sent out on loan to Atlanta United before going out again on loan to Portsmouth in 2018. He quickly made an impact for Pompey, scoring on debut, and soon established himself in the starting eleven at right-back. It was announced that summer that Walkes would be joining Portsmouth permanently on a two-year deal for an undisclosed fee.

In January 2020, following 66 appearances for the south coast side, Walkes returned to Atlanta, making 50 league appearances for the club before moving to Charlotte FC in the 2021 MLS Expansion Draft. During his year at Charlotte FC, the 25-year-old made 23 league appearances.

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What has been said?

Charlotte FC’s sporting director Zoran Krneta has said: “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 FC and our entire community is grieving over this tragedy. The impact he made in the locker room and througout Charlotte will never be forgotten. We are thinking of his lovely family during this time and will support them fully in every way imaginable.”

The club’s owner, David Tepper, added to the 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.”

Major League Soccer have said: “There are no words to describe the sorrow of everyone in Major League Soccer today after learning of the tragic passing of Anton Walkes of Charlotte FC. Anton was a talented and dedicated player who was loved by his teammates and fans.”

Walkes’ former club Portsmouth released a statement saying: “Everyone at Portsmouth Football Club is extremely saddened to learn of passing of Anton Walkes. Our thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family at this difficult time.”

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Spurs have also sent out a message of condolence saying “We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former player, Anton Walkes. The thoughts of everyone at the club are with his family and friends at this incredibly sad time.”

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