Charlotte FC hosted a celebration of life for former defender Anton Walkes, who was killed in a boating accident in Florida last week.
The team invited fans, teammates, and family to gather at Bank of America Stadium at 3 p.m. Tuesday. In Walkes’ honor, fans were encouraged to wear black Charlotte FC gear and Newly Minted kits.
When the stadium opened to supporters and Walkes’ teammates, the emotion was raw and real. Walkes’ family members, his girlfriend and their daughter were embraced by the Charlotte FC staff and team members who wore Walkes’ Number 5.
Several speakers, ranging from Walkes’ close friends to the commissioner of Major League Soccer, shared the memories they have with Walkes. Even North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper sent a video message in support of Walkes and the Charlotte FC family.
“We made a promise to him -- he’s with us, [we’re] always going to talk about him in present tense,” said Charlotte FC Head Coach Christian Lattanzio.
Walkes died at the age of 25.
(WATCH BELOW: Soccer fans around the world mourn loss of Charlotte FC’s Anton Walkes)