A SALE pensioner says she will never forget the modest "Busby Babe" who became the godfather to her daughter just months before the Munich air disaster tragically took his life.

Widow Josephine Stott, aged 74, who lives just off Egerton Drive, was a close friend of Molly Leech - the fiancee of Manchester United and England legend Duncan Edwards.

At the time of the disaster Josephine and her husband, Frank, lived on Ashfield Road in Altrincham with their baby daughter, Julie.

"I think about Molly and Duncan all the time. It's always on my mind especially at the moment with all the anniversary stories about Munich, it brings it all back," said Josephine.

"Me and Molly met at Cooks in Altrincham - where we both worked in the offices for a couple of years and then we kept in touch even when she moved down south, right up until she died a couple of years ago.

"Molly met Duncan at a do at the Manchester Airport hotel and they got engaged after they'd been seeing each other for about 12 months. Molly was a keen City supporter and Duncan would sometimes go with her to watch them."

She added: "My daughter (Julie) was born in April 1957 and christened that July at the old methodist church in Altrincham. Molly was my closest friend and that's why she was Julie's godmother and, because they were a pair, we asked Duncan to be godfather. You never thought of him as football superstar - he was just Molly's boyfriend.

"Duncan was absolutely teetotal and after the christening I remember him sitting in the kitchen with me drinking milk! Duncan was a real gentleman, he was a very private person but there was edge to him and he was just an ordinary chap.

"The christening was a really special day; but tragically it was such a short space of time to the events that February. They should never have tried to take off three times but I suppose they felt they had other commitments and had to get back."

Manchester United legend Sir Bobby Charlton has described Duncan Edwards as "unhesitatingly the best player I ever played with".

Edwards, born in Dudley, made his debut for United aged just 16-years-old and by 1958 had already won 18 caps for England. He died 15 days after the crash, following an heroic fight for life, aged just 21-years-old.

Josephine explained: "It was absolutely dreadful when Molly found out. I remember her telling me Matt Busby seemed so much more poorly than Duncan and all the photos in the newspapers were of Sir Matt in his oxygen tent in the immediate days after the disaster.

"There wasn't a mark on Duncan from his shoulders down to his waste but it was his kidneys that went; they tried to get some special equipment from France but it was too late. He was only 21 and no one had thought Duncan would die and it was a real shock to all his family and friends."

She added: "Molly came back from Germany dressed all in black - I'd never seen such a change in a person. At the time Molly was only 22 and I never thought she'd get over it - they had all their lives to look forward to and the plane crash took all of that away.

"Eventually she moved down south to Somerset and she did marry. Molly was very happy and used to come back to Manchester twice a year to see her family and friends."

THE Sale Guardian printed the following "How they heard the sad news" report on February 14 1958.

The tragic news reached Duncan Edwards' girl friend, Miss Molly Leech, of Manley Road, Sale, shortly before she left work on Thursday last week.

She immediately cycled round to a friend's home in Sale to verify the information. Next morning she left Ringway for Munich.

Molly is an office worker at Cook and Company Ltd, Textile machine makers, of Windsor Road, Moss Lane, Altrincham.

MANCHESTER United will host a week of events to remember the 23 people who lost their lives in the disaster - culminating in a minutes silence at the start of the derby between United and City at Old Trafford on Sunday, February 10.