Professional soccer player Anton Walkes has died from injuries he sustained in a boat crash off the coast of Miami, authorities said Thursday.
Walkes, who was 25, was found unconscious and taken to a hospital after the crash between two boats Wednesday near the Miami Marine Stadium basin, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Walkes was operating one of the boats that crashed, the state agency said in a statement.
It was unclear whether anyone else was injured. The agency’s investigation is ongoing.
Walkes was a member of the MLS club Charlotte FC. He started his career at Tottenham.
Charlotte FC owner David Tepper said all at the club were “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,” Tepper said in a club statement.
Walkes joined Charlotte for the club’s debut MLS season in 2022. He played in 23 matches with 21 starts and had five shots on goal this past season.
“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.
Walkes began his career with English Premier League club Tottenham and also played for Portsmouth before signing with Atlanta United in MLS.
The MLS released a statement saying “there are no words to describe the sorrow of everyone in Major League Soccer today.”
“Anton was a talented and dedicated player who was loved by his teammates and fans,” the statement said.
Charlotte FC teammate Jaylin Lindsey said he was “heartbroken” to learn the news.
“Fly high my brother, you’re the best teammate I could’ve asked for,” Lindsey Tweeted. “Love you man.”
Tottenham Hotspur also tweeted: “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.”
The death came six years after another professional athlete was killed in a boating accident in Miami. In September 2016, Miami Marlins’ star pitcher Jose Fernandez and two others died when the speed boat they were in crashed into an unlit jetty off Miami Beach late at night.
Photo: Charltotte Football Club defender Anton Walkes in 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Kelley, File)
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