‘Today we’re one’: Charlotte FC supporters hold vigil for Anton Walkes

The soccer community gathered to pay its respects to the 25-year-old defender.
Supporters gathered outside Bank of America Stadium Thursday evening to pay their respects following the tragic death of Anton Walkes.
Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 9:54 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Just a few hours after learning the tragic news of Anton Walkes’ death, dozens of Charlotte FC supporters gathered at Bank of America Stadium Thursday evening to hold a vigil for the 25-year-old soccer star.

Walkes died early Thursday morning after a boating accident in Miami, 45 minutes away from where the team was holding preseason training camp in Fort Lauderdale.

The team’s supporters came together all throughout last year’s inaugural season to cheer and celebrate. Today, they came together to mourn and pay respects together.

“We’re with him, all of us collectively,” supporter Alicia Lalone said. “There’s thousands of us as supporters, but today we’re one. We’re here for Anton.”

Walkes was an up-and-coming talent in the Charlotte FC backfield, and had already found success playing three years for Atlanta United in the MLS. However, today he was remembered for much more than what he did on the field.

Related: Bank of America Stadium honors Charlotte FC defender Anton Walkes

“Such a vibrant guy,” supporter Jonathan Davis said. “He cared about the team, he cared about the community, it still hasn’t really sunk in that he’s gone.”

The entire team traveled back to Charlotte in the wake of this tragedy, and stopped by the memorial at the east gate of Bank of America Stadium.

The players appeared emotional, and visibly touched by the showing of love poured out from the community on Thursday.

“Charlotte’s a city of love, it’s a place where people look out for each other and care for each other,” supporter Eric Barta said. “That’s reflecting through our whole fan base right now.”

Charlotte FC canceled its scheduled friendly with St. Louis this Saturday. The team is currently set to open up the 2023 season at home against the New England Revolution on Feb. 25.

Related: Charlotte FC Defender Anton Walkes killed in south Florida crash