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MIAMI – Anton Walkes, a defender for Major League Soccer’s Charlotte FC franchise, died Thursday after a boat crash in South Florida, officials said. He was 25.

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According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Walkes died after the boat he was piloting collided with another vessel near Miami Marine Stadium at about 3 p.m. EST on Wednesday, the Miami Herald reported.

The wildlife agency said that Walkes was found unconscious and received CPR from Miami Fire Rescue before being hospitalized in critical condition, according to the newspaper. It was unclear whether anyone else was injured, ESPN reported.

“Everyone at Tepper Sports & Entertainment is 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,” Charlotte FC team owner David Tepper said in a 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. He will be greatly missed by many and our thoughts and prayers are with Anton’s family during this heartbreaking time. The Club offers its full support to all those impacted during this period of mourning.”

Walkes was drafted by Charlotte FC in the 2021 MLS expansion draft, according to WSOC-TV. He was acquired by Atlanta United FC in 2020, where he had previously been on loan, WSB-TV reported. He played in 23 matches with 21 starts and had five shots on goal for Charlotte FC during the 2022 season.

“We are heartbroken to learn of the tragic passing of Anton Walkes. An inaugural member of Atlanta United, Anton was the epitome of a great teammate with a personality that lit up every room he entered,” Atlanta United said in a statement. “He will be deeply missed by all of those who knew him. On behalf of everyone at Atlanta United, we send our deepest condolences to Anton’s family, friends and Charlotte FC.”

Walkes, a native of Lewisham, England, first signed as a 16-year-old with Tottenham Hotspur of the English Premier League, according to the Herald. After one appearance with Spurs, Walkes was loaned to Portsmouth of England’s League One.

“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,” MLS said in a statement. “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.”

Charlotte teammate Jaylin Lindsey tweeted his condolences.

“Fly high my brother, you’re the best teammate I could’ve asked for,” Lindsey wrote. “Love you man.”

In a tweet, Tottenham Hotspur said its players would wear black armbands during the squad’s Thursday night Premier League match against Manchester City.

“We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former player, Anton Walkes, the team tweeted. The thoughts of everyone at the Club are with his family and friends at this incredibly sad time.”

Charlotte FC was in South Florida for its first leg of preseason training and had a friendly scheduled with St. Louis on Saturday, according to The Associated Press. That match has been canceled.