Former Patriots NT Lester Williams dies at 58

New England Patriots

Former Patriots nose tackle Lester Williams died at his home in Birmingham, Ala., on Wednesday. He was 58.

Williams played in 40 games for the Patriots from 1982-1985, including as a starter in Super Bowl XX. During his four-year career in New England, Williams made 39 solo tackles, 60 assists, five sacks, three fumble recoveries and five pass breakups.

The second of the Patriots’ two first-round draft picks (27th overall) in the 1982 NFL Draft, Williams quickly established himself as a mainstay on the defensive front. He started all nine games during his NFL strike-shortened rookie year.

The University of Miami product was a part of a Patriots draft class that included the No. 1 overall pick, defensive end Kenneth Sims, running back Robert Weathers (second round), Patriots and Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Andre Tippett (second round), guard Darryl Haley (second round), receiver Cedric Jones (third round), linebacker Clayton Weishuhn (third round) and free safety Fred Marion (fifth round), a fellow All-American with Williams at Miami.

“I am very proud to be part of the 1982 draft class, and having Lester Williams as a part of that class made playing defense a lot more fun,” Tippett said, via quotes distributed by the team. “As a nose tackle, Lester was a key to our success in the 3-4 defense. I remember how frustrated opposing centers became playing against him. He anchored the line for us and was a great teammate to play alongside. On behalf of the entire organization, our thoughts and prayers are with Lester’s family, friends and former teammates who are mourning his loss today.”

Williams was inducted into the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame in 1999, and his 210 career tackles remain the most in school history for a defensive tackle. He also was a member of the USA Junior Olympic team as a heavyweight wrestler and was the state heavyweight champion while at Carol City (Fla.) High School.

15 responses to “Former Patriots NT Lester Williams dies at 58

  1. SerenityNow says:

    August 17, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    No current Patriot fans ever heard of him because the bandwagon is only 15 years old

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    Speak for yourself. First Patriots game I ever saw the quarterback was Jim Plunket!! Now go Google to make sure he played for them !!! He did

  2. SerenityNow says:
    August 17, 2017 at 2:55 pm
    No current Patriot fans ever heard of him because the bandwagon is only 15 years old.

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    I have. I had season tickets and saw him play many times. So did a lot of other people. That was a pretty darn good draft. It’s too bad Kenneth Sims didn’t pan out. They drafted half a starting defense there. That draft was a major Cog in getting that team to the Superbowl 4 years later. That’s Super Bowl team happened to be the first team to ever go on the road and win three straight playoff Road games. That was a fun ride. I went to Miami for the AFC Championship game and sat in the wooden bleachers on the open end of the Orange Bowl. Of course I had to follow that up with a trip to New Orleans for the Super Bowl. It started off promising but when tight end Lin Dawson went down at the goal line with a knee injury, they couldn’t run the ball anymore against that Bears defense. They became one-dimensional. They were going to be up 10-0 but it was all downhill from there. Still it was a fun ride. Thanks for the memories Lester!

  3. SerenityNow says:
    August 17, 2017 at 2:55 pm
    No current Patriot fans ever heard of him because the bandwagon is only 15 years old.
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    Classy. For the record, MOST Pats fans have been following the team more than a mere 15 years, that being said, continue to enjoy rooting for your loser team.

  4. I don’t remember him but he died too young. Prayers for his family.

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    Who the hell gives this comment a thumbs down? Seriously.

  5. Condolences to his family and friends. On a side note Clayton was a tackling machine, but could not stay healthy. Their d was awesome with him, Tippet, and Blackmon. But what do I know, only been watching them since Parilli was the QB. Guess I’m a bandwagon fan, right Serenity?

  6. “Their d was awesome with him, Tippet, and Blackmon”

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    Except against McMahon, Bears O-Line, Payton, Suhey, and Gault.

  7. The Patriots have sold out every game since 1994. There is no bandwagon. The fan base has been solid since Kraft bought the team. That team Williams played on caught the attention of New England sports fans and so did those exciting teams of the mid-70s, but it was tough to sustain with crappy ownership and even worse teams. Giving away Mike Haynes and Leon Gray because those Sullivans were so cheap really hurt the fanbase. The Patriots had it so bad that they almost moved to St Louis and even Birmingham. The fans have hung in there. This garbage about bandwagon is a joke. Every team that becomes great gets a bandwagon, not just the Patriots and the Patriots rebirth was during the Bledsoe era and not the Brady era.

  8. Real good player. RIP.

    CLayton Weishuhn was a stud. If he didn’t rip up his knee, he would have been a real good one…

  9. “”I remember him well!! He was a important part of the 1985 Squish The Fish Super Bowl team.”

    He was part of some gritty Pats teams that’s for sure. A shame that Super Bowl was against one of the best couple defenses of all time. The Super Bowl was over by the end of the first quarter but up until they hit that wall it was a great season for Pats fans.

  10. pastabelly says:
    August 17, 2017 at 4:21 pm
    The Patriots have sold out every game since 1994. There is no bandwagon. The fan base has been solid since Kraft bought the team. That team Williams played on caught the attention of New England sports fans and so did those exciting teams of the mid-70s, but it was tough to sustain with crappy ownership and even worse teams. Giving away Mike Haynes and Leon Gray because those Sullivans were so cheap really hurt the fanbase. The Patriots had it so bad that they almost moved to St Louis and even Birmingham. The fans have hung in there. This garbage about bandwagon is a joke. Every team that becomes great gets a bandwagon, not just the Patriots and the Patriots rebirth was during the Bledsoe era and not the Brady era.
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    To be fair, and objective, no team that has had the success the Pats have had will be without a few bandwagon fans, it’s just going to happen, but the idiotic narrative that Pats haters try to push in that there were no Pats fans prior to 2001 is well, just that, idiotic. As you’ve said, sold out every game since 1994. They also went to two Super Bowls before TB arrived. The 85 playoffs, despite the SB outcome, were special. Beating the Jets, Raiders and Dolphins (especially Miami) on the road was just awesome. The whole region was wearing ‘Squish the Fish’ shirts. And the Fairbanks teams of the 70s were pretty darn good as well.

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