Former Atlanta United and Charlotte FC defender Anton Walkes tragically passed away Thursday morning at the age of 25 due to injuries sustained in a boating crash in the waters off Miami on Wednesday.
Charlotte FC announced his passing and both Charlotte and Atlanta United released statements.
We are deeply saddened to share that Anton Walkes has tragically passed away this morning.— Charlotte FC (@CharlotteFC) January 19, 2023
May he rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/8oUcHvWW6g
Statement below on behalf of Atlanta United on the passing of Anton Walkes. pic.twitter.com/JcuBxeAXfB— Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) January 19, 2023
The Miami Herald reported the crash that occurred yesterday. Dirty South Soccer understands that Walkes was on a jet ski and collided with a larger vessel. The report states that Walkes was found unconscious and received CPR on the scene from Miami Fire Rescue.
It’s a tragic loss for the entire MLS community. Fans, players and coaches alike had nothing but the best of interactions with Walkes, who unsurprisingly found himself to be a fan favorite in Atlanta. That’s thanks in part to the role he played during the teams inaugural campaign under Tata Martino in 2017 where while on loan he won the right back spot and played in 20 games, making 17 starts that season.
Atlanta was impressed enough to bring him back in 2020 on a permanent transfer where he became a regular in the starting XI under multiple head coaches. He started 15 of 23 league games in 2020 under Frank de Boer and Stephen Glass, followed by 32 of 34 matches the following season under Gabriel Heinze and Gonzalo Pineda. He’s one of the players to have worn the captain’s armband in Atlanta United’s history.
Some of his former Atlanta United clubs, teammates and colleagues have shared their feelings since learning of the tragic news:
We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former player, Anton Walkes.— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 19, 2023
The thoughts of everyone at the Club are with his family and friends at this incredibly sad time pic.twitter.com/NCPvFU4A6v
Everyone at Portsmouth Football Club is extremely saddened to learn of the passing of Anton Walkes.— Portsmouth FC (@Pompey) January 19, 2023
Our thoughts are with his friends and family at this difficult time. pic.twitter.com/bWZIz324z4
An ATL UTD original. A fucking great human being https://t.co/9rPC4KGZAW— Michael Parkhurst (@MFparkhurst) January 19, 2023
RIP my brother ️ life doesn’t feel real rn https://t.co/v8BEHAJRAc— Brandon Vazquez (@Brvndonv) January 19, 2023
This is incredibly sad— Jack Collison (@jackcollison) January 19, 2023
Can honestly say he was one of the nicest guys in the game
Thoughts are with family & Friends
Rest in peace https://t.co/iwBSYBR65q
If anyone has personal stories about interacting or watching Anton, we’d all love to hear them. Rest in peace Anton Walkes.