A LYE man whose father was killed in the 1974 Birmingham pub bombings has called on the police to double their efforts to find those responsible, as the inquest into the atrocity reached its conclusion last week.

Paul Rowlands was 11-years-old when his father John was killed in the IRA bomb blasts that tore through the Tavern In The Town and the Mulberry Bush pubs in Birmingham city centre on November 21, 1974.

The inquest into the deaths of the 21 people who lost their lives in the atrocity resumed at Birmingham Justice Centre in February, after it was adjourned in the weeks after the attacks over 40 years ago.

Proceedings closed on Friday April 5, with the jury concluding the 21 people were 'unlawfully killed'.

Reacting to last week's verdict, which was the culmination of weeks of hearing emotionally draining evidence, Paul said: "It's the first time it's been heard on record that they were murdered. Somebody placed bombs in there and blew it up."

He said he he was 'disappointed' that the inquest could not lead to convictions, but he welcomed the inquest taking place after years of hurdles and campaigning from the families of those killed.

He added: "The inquest is another step forwards. It's took us 44 years to get an inquest. If you get run over by a car you get one in a matter of days. It's beyond belief."

He explained: "It was never an ideal platform, it's not a trial. We wanted the names to come to the fore. We already knew, but we wanted them named in a court of law.

West Midlands Police say the investigation into finding who was responsible for the bombings is active and continuing and Paul now hopes the findings of the inquest will put pressure on police to act on evidence heard during the proceedings.

He said: "We just hope that whatever the police did in 1974, the police in 2019 can turn that around."

Now, the families, who campaign under the name Justice For The 21, need to raise £60,000 to cover their legal costs for the inquest.

Paul says they are around halfway to achieving their target, but he is throwing himself into fundraising.

The group have been tireless in their aim to raise money, with the appeal spreading around the country and the football community also offering their support.

Support has come from teams in the Black Country and wider afield, with Wolves fans the latest to dig deep for the cause at their FA Cup semi-final match at Wembley last Sunday.

Paul added: "It's nice to have that support, we don't feel alone."