MLS pays tribute to Anton Walkes with former clubs Charlotte FC and Atlanta United leading the way
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.
Before their first match of the season, Charlotte FC honored Anton Walkes, who died at the age of 25 in a boat crash in January.— B/R Football (@brfootball) February 26, 2023
(via @MLS) pic.twitter.com/YpQITVXlbd
Thank you to everyone who helped us honor Anton Walkes tonight 💙 pic.twitter.com/Rm4k0vWYv0— Charlotte FC (@CharlotteFC) February 26, 2023
R.I.P. Anton Walkes #ATLUTD Legend Forever pic.twitter.com/ULvfWbP0Ic— Edgar Hernandez (@EdgarAtlHdz) February 26, 2023
And a fantastic tribute to Anton Walkes tonight ❤️ pic.twitter.com/rXyNfbFJpM— Dirty South Soccer (@DirtySouthSoc) February 26, 2023