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Tim Lester, ex-Steelers fullback, is dead at 52 from COVID-19 complications in Georgia

Tim Lester, ex-Steelers fullback known for being the lead blocker for Jerome ‘The Bus’ Bettis, is dead at 52 from COVID-19 complications in Georgia

  • Lester, a special team’s standout, ‘passed away unexpectedly’ early Tuesday morning in Milton, Georgia 
  • Tim Lester, 52, was selected in the 10th round of the 1992 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams, where he first met Jerome Bettis
  • After three years in California, the two would be reunited in Pittsburgh.
  •  The two would become a stellar combination, with Bettis becoming known as ‘The Bus’ while Lester became known as the ‘Bus Driver’
  • Lester would spend four years in Pittsburgh before heading to the Dallas Cowboys in 1999

Tim Lester, a former NFL fullback who was the lead blocker for Pittsburgh Steeler’s star running back Jerome Bettis, has died at the age of 52 due to coronavirus complications.   

Lester, a special team’s standout, ‘passed away unexpectedly’ early Tuesday morning in Milton, Georgia. 

‘I have known Tim for many years and always thought the world of him,’ said Mayor Joe Lockwood in a statement on the city’s Facebook page. ‘He was sincere and passionate about helping people and making the world a better place, including here in Milton.’ 

Tim Lester, a special team’s standout, ‘passed away unexpectedly’ early Tuesday morning in Milton, Georgia

Lester had been working as a coach at the Fellowship Christian School, where his children attended. The school announced that the former star athlete had passed

Lester had been working as a coach at the Fellowship Christian School, where his children attended. The school announced that the former star athlete had passed

Lester had been working as a coach at the Fellowship Christian School, where his children attended. The school announced that the former star athlete had passed.

‘As we mourn the passing of this incredible man, we remember the massive impact he made on our community,’ Head of School Dr. Kathryn M. Teston said in an email. ‘…He was dedicated to impacting the lives of athletes and students, encouraging them to live fully for God’s glory alone.’ 

The middle of seven children, Lester grew up in Miami before attending Eastern Kentucky University – the first son in his family to attend college. 

While with the Colonels, Lester secured 3,640 yards rushing and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.

Lester was selected in the 10th round of the 1992 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams, where he first met Jerome Bettis (center). The two would become a stellar combination, with Bettis becoming known as 'The Bus' while Lester became known as the 'Bus Driver' (right)

Lester was selected in the 10th round of the 1992 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams, where he first met Jerome Bettis (center). The two would become a stellar combination, with Bettis becoming known as ‘The Bus’ while Lester became known as the ‘Bus Driver’ (right)

Lester was selected in the 10th round of the 1992 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams, where he first met Jerome Bettis. After three years in California, the two would be reunited in Pittsburgh. 

The two would become a stellar combination, with Bettis becoming known as ‘The Bus’ while Lester became known as the ‘Bus Driver.’ Lester would spend four years in Pittsburgh before heading to the Dallas Cowboys in 1999. 

Following his retirement, Lester kept busy by doing motivational talks and by serving in several groups

Following his retirement, Lester kept busy by doing motivational talks and by serving in several groups

In 1996 and in 1997, Lester was voted an NFL Unsung Hero for his ‘extensive, earnest service to young people.’

Lester founded the Pigskin Academy, a non-profit organization that works with at-risk athletes to help them succeed in all areas. 

A dedicated family man, Lester was said to have helped out those in need. He was lauded for his work with Toys for Tots and for the food he helped pass out during the holidays.

Following his retirement, Lester kept busy by doing motivational talks and by serving in several groups. 

Lester was a part of the Milton Rotary and the Milton Steelers football program, both aimed at uplifting the community and those who are underserved. He was also on the advisory board of Developmental Football International, and huge in the local football community in the area.

‘Tim was an absolutely amazing man,’ said Milton Parks and Recreation Manager Tom McKlveen. ‘He truly cared about positively impacting the kids on and off the field.’ 

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