Mr MacKenzie provoked fresh anger from the Hillsborough families when it emerged he instructed solicitors to demand an “apology and recompense” from South Yorkshire Police.
Mr MacKenzie, writing in The Spectator magazine, said he suffered “personal vilification for decades” as a result of the newspaper’s reporting of the disaster.
The Sun’s front-page story, which ran four days after the tragedy in April 1989, claimed that Liverpool fans urinated on police officers resuscitating the dying and stole from the dead.
According to extracts published on The Spectator’s website, Mr MacKenzie writes: “Now I know – you know, we all know – that the fans were right. But it took 23 years, two inquiries, one inquest and research into 400,000 documents, many of which were kept secret under the 30-year no-publication rule, to discover there was a vast cover-up by South Yorkshire Police about the disaster.
“Where does that leave me?”
The former editor goes on to say that police patrols have been increased around his house and describes a “physical danger” he faces in Liverpool.
South Yorkshire Police Chief Constable David Crompton said in a statement: “We have publicly apologised to the Hillsborough families and the fans, but we will not apologise to Mr MacKenzie. He chose to write his own headline and he should accept responsibility for it.”