Tottenham pay tribute to Charlotte FC defender Anton Walkes by wearing black armbands in their Premier League match against Manchester City after the tragic death of their 25-year-old former player following a boating accident in Florida.
- Anton Walkes of Charlotte FC died after a tragic boating accident on Wednesday
- Walkes, 25, was discovered unconscious before passing away early Thursday morning.
- The English defender began his career at Tottenham in the Premier League.
- Spurs wore black armbands against Man City on Thursday as a tribute
- Walkes signed his first professional contract with them and made one appearance.
- The north London team expressed their ‘deep sadness’ after learning of his death
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Tottenham players wear black armbands in their Premier League match against Manchester City following the death of Charlotte FC star and former academy graduate Anton Walkes.
Charlotte announced Walkes’ passing at the age of 25 Thursday morning after the advocate was involved in a tragic boating accident in Florida the previous afternoon.
He was discovered unconscious after two boats crashed near Miami Marine Stadium around 3 p.m. Wednesday, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reports.
Walkes then received CPR from the Miami Fire Department before being transported to the hospital, but died early Thursday morning.
Tottenham wear black armbands against Manchester City on Thursday as a tribute to former player Anton Walkes. Pictured: Spurs forward Harry Kane (centre)
Walkes, who plays for MLS club Charlotte FC, was involved in a boating accident in Miami on Wednesday.
He began his professional career with Tottenham after spending four years at their academy.
The English centre-back, who has a young daughter named Ayla with his girlfriend Alexis, began his professional career at Tottenham after spending four years in their youth ranks.
He only made one appearance for Spurs, in a League Cup match against Gillingham in 2016, before leaving the club two years later.
Tottenham said they were ‘deeply saddened’ by the news of Walkes’ passing. in a statement Thursdaybefore adding that his first team would wear black armbands against City later as a tribute.
Team North London academy teams will also wear black armbands in his memory during their matches over the weekend.
While the likes of Harry Kane pay their respects at the Etihad, Charlotte fans lay floral tributes to Walkes outside Bank of America Stadium.
The Charlotte defender, pictured with his girlfriend Alexis (center) and daughter Ayla (right), was involved in a tragic boating accident in Florida on Wednesday.
Tottenham players including Ivan Perisic (L) wore Walkes memorial armbands against City
Fans are also laying floral tributes outside Charlotte FC’s Bank of America Stadium.
Played 24 times in his first year with Charlotte, who selected him in the 2021 Expansion Draft
Walkes made one appearance during his time with Spurs
Supporters also plan to hold a vigil at 4 pm local time.
Walkes, who was born in Lewisham, south-east London, was first spotted by Spurs while playing for non-league club Dulwich Hamlet, signing his first professional contract with them in 2015.
Following loan spells in the US with Atlanta United and in the English lower leagues with Portsmouth, he joined the latter team permanently in 2018.
A second season with Atlanta came two years later, before he was selected by Charlotte in the 2021 MLS Expansion Draft. Walkes made 24 appearances in his debut season.
“We are heartbroken by the loss of Anton Walkes, a truly incredible father, loving person and exceptional human being,” Charlotte athletic director Zoran Krneta said in a statement.
“Anton embodied what it means to be a part of the Charlotte Football Club and our entire community is grieving this tragedy.
“The impact he had on the locker room and on all of Charlotte will never be forgotten. We are thinking of her lovely family during this time and will fully support them in every way imaginable.”
The centre-back, born in Lewisham, London, enjoyed most of his time on loan
He had a loan spell and then a permanent spell with Portsmouth in England’s lower leagues.
In its own statement, Major League Soccer expressed its grief over the ‘tragic’ news of Walkes’ death, writing: ‘There are no words to describe the grief of everyone at Major League Soccer today after learning of the tragic passing of Anton Walkes from Charlotte FC.
‘Anton was a talented and dedicated player who was loved by his teammates and fans. We extend our deepest condolences to his partner, family, friends and the entire Charlotte FC family.
“MLS is coordinating with Charlotte FC to provide players and family members with the resources and support they may need during this tragic time.”