thanks for all your replies again..
well i guess i'll have to own up, partly because i haven't been able to find a similar tripod to replace it with. but he's such a nice guy that he will never allow me to pay for it. so i'll just go with what some of you said - to buy a replacement and own up. sorted!
anyhow, will post a picture of the broken part tmr. Already in the office and the tripod's at home. thanks guys!