QUADROPHENIA star Gary Shail has offered to call off “3000 angry Mods” after an anonymous thief returned a plaque stolen on the film’s 40th anniversary.

CCTV footage shows the commemorative plaque being detached from the Brighton Palace Pier at the launch event last weekend.

But on Thursday afternoon, the Argus received an anonymous phone call. A man’s voice said: “You’ll have it back tomorrow – I’ll post it today.

“All I’ll say is I was drunk – I saw people taking photos with it and I thought it was valuable so I took it. I didn’t know it would cause that much emotion.

“I just want to send my apologies.”

The parcel was delivered on Friday morning. The plaque was in good condition, and accompanied by a one-word note. It read: “Sorry”.

Then, at 1.15pm on Friday, the anonymous thief called again. He said: “You need to let people know I’ve returned the plaque. Everybody wants to kill me. If you read Facebook it’s getting quite aggressive – and it’s my stupidity that’s caused that.

“My stomach is in knots. I’ve got two young kids and if it came out it was me it would be awful.

“I was very drunk. I was out for a family thing and it was a moment of stupidity.

“The plaque was held on with a cable tie. I just took it off.

“I’m in a responsible job and I haven’t done something this stupid since I was 16. But I’m not 16 any more.

“I apologise to all the Mods I’ve offended. Tell Gary Shail I’m sorry.”

Earlier, Gary, who starred as Spider in the cult 1979 film, said: “I am appalled at whoever did this drunk or not! There are a lot of extremely angry people out there who are trying to track this thief down.

“Obviously I do not wish this idiot any harm. But once it has been returned I think I ought to make a statement to call the dogs off: I’ve got about 3000 mods that want to lynch him”.

“I hate all that bad feeling malarkey: it’d just be nice to say we have it back, and for someone to say they’re very sorry.”

Gary said that plaque carried special importance for Mods. “Quadrophenia kickstarted the 80s revival of the Mods. It’s as British – and as Brighton – as fish and chips.”

The Argus informed Gary and the Brighton Walk of Fame that the plaque has been returned, and is arranging for the plaque to be reinstated on the pier.