Many devoted Leeds Utd fans would claim to have football in their DNA.
But what if their team - or any other - could revive its fortunes via some scientific intervention?
That’s the concept at the core of debutant novelist Ted Marriott new book Of a Game Bigger Than Football.
Mr Marriott, 67, from Oakwood, is hoping to score a winner with his saga of an entirely fictitious Yorkshire-based football team - Camthorpe United - which mysteriously acquires some spectacular new skills.
The writer, a former teacher, explained that the book began as a conversation between two friends, who became amused by the idea of using eugenics to create the perfect football team.
“I knew nothing about eugenics and less about football, but I began to research,” he explained. “It was about this time that my niece, a molecular biologist, came to stay. It was from her lucid explanations and little diagrams that Lost John [a character in the book] came into being.”
Mr Marriott admits he is “not an avid football fan” but became intrigued by the subject of genetic modification and its endless possibilities.
“I realised the plot might not be quite such a huge flight of fancy as I first thought,” he said. “I didn’t think anything so extreme could possibly happen in the real world, but then I read about a lab where supermice were being produced! It made me realise that sooner or later, sport is going to have to deal with some of the questions raised in the book.
“With the Lance Armstrong scandal, drugs in sport has become a hot topic. But what if, in the future, enhanced sporting ability becomes the side effect of a treatment for a genetic ailment?”
He said the novel was partly inspired by the idea of how a group of ordinary people might react if they found themselves in legitimate possession of a world-changing secret.
“An idea like that could have made the book a thriller, but the Yorkshire characters I put into the book had too much of a sense of humour to allow that,” he said. “So it’s their story. I’m not sure I would advocate everything they do, but they believe they are right.” Of a Game Bigger Than Football is available now via Amazon.