Jan 19, 2023 - Sports

Photos: Charlotte FC players, Tepper mourn late Anton Walkes at vigil

Charlotte FC Owner David Tepper places roses at a vigil outside of the stadium for defender Anton Walkes. Photo: Andy Weber/Axios

Charlotte FC owner David Tepper places roses at a vigil outside of the stadium for defender Anton Walkes. Photo: Andy Weber/Axios

Flowers lined the East Gate at Bank of America Stadium on Thursday evening, just hours after the death of Charlotte FC player Anton Walkes.

Fans will flood those same gates in a little more than a month for Charlotte Football Club’s opener, singing songs and anxiously awaiting the Major League Soccer team’s second season.

But on Thursday night, the only sounds came from harsh winds and cars whizzing past Mint Street as fans and teammates gathered to mourn Walkes’ tragic death.

Charlotte FC goalkeeper Kristijan Kahlina places a candle for teammate Anton Walkes. Photo: Andy Weber/Axios
Charlotte FC goalkeeper Kristijan Kahlina places a candle for teammate Anton Walkes. Photo: Andy Weber/Axios

What’s happening: The Charlotte FC defender died Thursday morning after a boating accident in South Florida where the team was training for preseason.

  • The team returned from Florida Thursday night and attended a fan-organized vigil at the stadium’s East Gate.

Goalkeeper Kristijan Kahlina arrived moments before the vigil was set to start at 4pm. He was in Charlotte recovering from back surgery in Charlotte, hundreds of miles away from his team as they suffered an unspeakable tragedy.

  • Kahlina, placed a candle among the flowers and stoically stood there paying his respects.
  • Team owner David Tepper came down 30 minutes later and laid white roses among hydrangeas, sunflowers, daisies and countless other bouquets of flowers.
  • Team president Joe LaBue, Charlotte FC’s MLS NEXT Pro president Darrius Barnes and several other members of the team’s staff also attended the vigil.
Owner David Tepper (left) and goalkeeper Kristijan Kahlina at the vigil.
Owner David Tepper (left) and goalkeeper Kristijan Kahlina. Photo: Andy Weber/Axios
Fans lay a scarf at a vigil for Anton Walkes.
Photo: Andy Weber/Axios
Charlotte FC video manager Brittany Alvarado pays her respects. Photo: Andy Weber/Axios
Fans pay their respects.
Photo: Andy Weber/Axios
Owner David Tepper embraces a fan.
Owner David Tepper embraces a fan. Photo: Andy Weber/Axios
Fans embrace at the vigil.
Photo: Andy Weber/Axios
Fans embrace at the vigil.
Photo: Andy Weber/Axios
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