Jerome Bettis arranges Go Fund Me for late high school football coach, NFL teammate

A Go Fund Me campaign has been set up to help with funeral expenses for Tim Lester, a north Fulton high school coach and former NFL player.

Lester, a coach at Fellowship Christian School in Roswell and formerly Milton High School, died Tuesday of COVID-19 complications.

NFL Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis started the Go Fund Me page, according to his Instagram Post. On Friday, more than $21,000 was pledged.

Lester and Bettis became close friends when both men played for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1990s.

“Tim was more than my teammate, he was my friend and brother,” Bettis posted on Instagram. “During this difficult time, I ask that you join me in supporting his beautiful wife Natalie and children, Tim Jr., Tristan and (Toni Rae) by making a contribution to the Tim Lester Family Memorial Fund in lieu of flowers.”

Lester’s daughter, Toni Rae, has developmental disabilities, close family friend Alan Brock said, and requires 24-hour care.

ExploreFormer NFL player, beloved local high school coach dies of COVID-19 complications

Brock said that while Lester wasn’t poor, he wasn’t rich in the way people might expect of veteran NFL players, and the Go Fund Me donations would help Lester’s family.

“Tim was always the kind of person that would give you every penny to buy a pair or cleats or something for a kid,” Brock said.

Post-NFL, Lester turned to his Christian faith to teach young athletes values they could embrace throughout any walk of life, Brock and other close friends said.

Brock said he wants to carry on Lester’s legacy. For more information visit the Go Fund Me page or email