Hulk Hogan is desperate to return to WWE to make amends.

The legendary wrestler, who was forced to resign in July after a controversial audio clip leaked of him using a racial slur in a 2007 sex tape, dreams of returning to the ring and salvaging his legacy.

The 62-year-old star said: ''This business has been my life. It's been my heartbeat. I want to be 80 years old and still connected to this business. It's all I've ever known. I dream about wrestling. I watch it over and over again. So for my whole life to be taken away from me? Like I never existed? Like Hulk Hogan's never been a wrestler? I just can't believe everything I worked for my whole life is gone.''

Hogan, whose first marriage was falling apart when he was secretly recorded making the comment, admits he was in a dark place at the time and hopes people will eventually forgive him for making a mistake.

He told Sports Illustrated's Extra Mustard: ''Yes, I said it. I'm accountable for it, and I'm so sorry. But the real people who know me, they know I'm not a racist. I've got a lot of support from the African-American community. Most people know who I am, and I'm just so sorry I was in a situation where I was venting and I was mad.

''I don't use the word, ever, except for in that moment of anger, so I wish WWE went to the source instead of the symptoms. I could have explained I've tried every day since then to be a better man.

''A lot of people make mistakes. If we were all judged by our weakest moment, it would be a sad world.''

The star is disappointed he never got the chance to apologise or discuss the incident with WWE Chairman and CEO Vince Mcmahon directly.

He said: ''The only place for me to be would be the WWE. That's where my home is. I thought I'd go step-by-step, crawling uphill with WWE, to explain how wrong I was, but that opportunity wasn't there.

''I'd love to sit down and connect with Vince. If I had a chance to work with Vince and help people, we could help fix a lot of things together.''