MLS pays tribute to Anton Walkes with former clubs Charlotte FC and Atlanta United leading the way

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Anton Walkes Atlanta United
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Major League Soccer clubs Charlotte FC and Atlanta United marked the beginning of a new season by paying tribute to their former player Anton Walkes.

Walkes, who was just 25, tragically died in January in a boat accident in Miami.

The London-born defender and midfielder started his football career in the Tottenham Hotspur academy, before playing for Portsmouth between 2018 and 2022.

But it was in MLS where he made his name, appearing for Atlanta United and then Charlotte. Teams across the league held a moment of silence for Walkes before their opening games on Saturday, the first day of the new campaign.

Charlotte lit up Walkes' squad number 5 during the silence, while presenting his old shirt on a 'throne' in an emotional moment before their 1-0 home defeat by New England Revolution. The club's owners David and Nicole Tepper then put a crown on the 'throne' after the players had emerged wearing t-shirts with 'AW5' on the back.

There were similarly poignant scenes at Walkes' former club Atlanta whose fans unveiled a huge tifo of the player celebrating a goal, before their dramatic win over San Jose.