A group of seven 19-year-old friends are making history after becoming the joint owners of Walton and Hersham Football Club.

'The Swans' captured the imagination of football fans across the UK and beyond in recent days after revealing that seven mates from the area have become the club's first new owners in almost 30 years.

The self-titled Class of '18 are all university students who hope to bring an ensemble approach to owning and running the club, which was founded in 1945.

The seven friends are thought to have become the youngest owners of any club in world football since joining in June.

One of them is 19-year-old modern languages student Sartej Tucker, who is currently managing branding and communications in his role as co-owner.

He told the Comet that love and enthusiasm for the game was the biggest motivation behind the group's remarkable new project.

"The main thing for us is that we're all football mad.

"There might be people who from an administrative point of view could do the job but they might not be watching the team, talking to the manager and the players...

"You really have to love your football to get on at this level and I feel that this is one thing that is on our side.

"All of us love the game and there will always be that commitment from us in that sense," he said.

Your Local Guardian: The 'hub' where Walton and Hersham FC play their footballThe 'hub' where Walton and Hersham FC play their football

Indeed, it was an opportunity that really stood out for the students after the stars aligned that led them to consider the takeover seriously.

"All seven of us live locally, close to the club, and the previous owners were looking to pass the club on.

"Obviously at first we all this is an absolutely crazy idea. How could anyone think it would work? How are we capable of doing this?

"But as we delved into it a bit more and looked at how something like this might work in practice it actually became more feasible," Mr Tucker said.

Something that has helped streamline things is that the ground where Walton and Hersham FC play there football is owned by a contractor, via Elmbridge Council.

As such, the Class of '18 need not worry about a lot of the basic tasks owners of a club typically take on — cutting the grass, cleaning the changing rooms and so on.

These are all taken care of by the contractor, leaving the young owners free to focus on football.

The fact that responsibilities are shared between all seven of the friends offers a model for the new owners that provides flexibility too — a fact not lost on the undergraduates.

"There's a very big spread in what we study. I'm doing modern languages but the others are doing accounting and finance, economics, politics, geography.

"At the end of the day there might be one or two of us who are tied up during a particular week but that's when the others can come in and play their part," Mr Tucker pointed out, praising the manager of Walton and Hersham FC — George Busumbru — for his support since they came in.

Having finished "dead last" in the previous season, the Swans now play in the 'tenth tier' of English football (Combined Counties League One).

As such, the first aim for the Class of '18 will be to help get Mr Busumbru and his players promoted quickly and from there, who knows?

Having already made national headlines with the BBC and others, the Class of '18 project seems to be picking up steam as the new season gets underway.

"It's a dream for a lot of people and to do this at the age of 19 is incredible," Mr Tucker said.

"We all love football and we're just really motivated to do this."