Reports a group of Crystal Palace fans were attacked while in Germany on the weekend have sparked a flurry of activity on social media with Eagles supporters saying the story is made up.

The Croydon Guardian was contacted on the weekend via twitter, and then on Monday by Tom Watson, who said he and his friends had been attacked and had their flag stolen during a visit to Augsburg.

Since our article went live just before 9am this morning it has attracted thousands of views, but many of twitter and Facebook have claimed the story has been invented.

Mr Watson told this paper he and his friends were left with cuts and bruises after being set upon by about 20 Augsburg fans on Friday while visiting the south German town.

The mob also stole their giant Palace flag, he said.

He said: "It happened really fast. We were just sitting there having some beers when about 20 if them appeared we tried to protect ourselves but there were too many.

"All of us were punched, and one of the guys had to go to hospital to get a cut checked, although he was alright. We were pretty shaken up by it."

With the match scheduled for Saturday, the five reported the incident to local police but Mr Watson said the response was limited.

He said: "They didn't want to know. If anything they seemed to think we were to blame."

During the fracas, the group's specially made flag, which cost £300, was stolen.

To add insult to injury, the next day Augsburg fans tweeted a mocking photograph of the trophy, held upside down as a gesture of disrespect.

The stunt backfired.

During the Saturday the group, who despite the attack decided to attend the game, met with other Palace fans, as well as FC Copenhagen supporters.

It was the Danish who proved unlikely allies.

Mr Watson said: "After the game we were sitting in a pub with some other fans and the FC Copenhagen fans came marching in with our flag.

"They had bumped into the Ultras and had beaten them up and taken the flag back for us.

"Palace and Copenhagen have had a good relationship since a tournament in Hamburg four years ago and they often turn out to support us.

"We were so pleased to get it back."

The group returned on Sunday and the adventure has done little to deter them from travelling again.

Mr Watson said: "It would be a bit sad if we got put off - I think next time we'll travel in a bigger group, but we'll definitely be doing it again."

Crystal Palace Football Club was unable to confirm or deny the report, and following the internet response we re-contacted Mr Watson, who stood by his story.