A native of Lancashire, his family emigrated to New Zealand in 1952. He was educated at Palmerston North Boys High School and Dux Ladorum but retained dual British and New Zealand nationality. A natural athlete he excelled at both cricket and football.
He made his domestic debut for Central Districts Under 23 team at Wallara in the Rothman's Under 23 Tournament in January 1964 aged 18. He played alongside Ken Wadsworth who was also making his debut and they would later be teammates in both the New Zealand Test and Central Districts sides. He subsequently made his first class debut for the senior provincial side against Wellington in December 1964 at the age of 19.
He was fast tracked into the New Zealand Test side after only 6 first class matches for the arduous tour of India and Pakistan in 1965. Making his debut in the first Test against India in Chennai he dismissed the Indian opening batsman, Dilip Sardesai, when he clean bowled him for 22 in his very first bowling spell. He went on to take 3 - 90 and a catch in the Indian first innings plus a wicket in their second innings. He played in all 4 Tests v India and 3 Test v Pakistan, scoring 168 runs at 15.27 and taking 10 wickets at 60.50. Less than a month later he arrived in England for a 10-week tour, including 3 Tests, where he topped the New Zealand batting with 281 runs at 56.20.
His maiden first class century came in his 50th match on a tour to Australia in December 1967, 3 years after his debut, when he scored 125 in a drawn match against Queensland. His best first class bowling performance was 7 - 65 (match analysis 11 - 91) against an Australian touring side in March 1967 at New Plymouth. Appointed captain of Central Districts in 1967 when he was just 22, he led them to two Plunket Shield championships in two out of the next three seasons before moving to Canterbury in order to pursue his college teaching studies. He initially captained the Canterbury side until he missed a number of matches over the following two seasons due to his reluctance to play on a Sunday. He would never play on Sundays because he was a lay preacher and this conflicted with his religious beliefs. This self-imposed restriction led him to forfeit any chance of the Test captaincy after he dropped out of the team to tour the West Indies in 1972 because several of the matches included Sunday play.
New Zealand had never beaten England when they arrived for their 1973 tour which included 3 Tests. This proved to be a remarkable series despite England winning two Tests with the third match drawn. In the first Test at Trent Bridge New Zealand were set 479 to win in the fourth innings. At one point, at 402 for 5 with Pollard and Wadsworth having put on 95 runs for the sixth wicket together, they looked as though they would achieve a remarkable upset. However, when Wadsworth was dismissed for 46 runs by Geoff Arnold, the last 5 wickets fell for just 38 runs with Tony Greig running through the tail on the morning of the 5th day to give England victory by 38 runs. Pollard had a remarkable series. His scores in the 3 Tests were 16 not out, 116, 105 not out, 62 and 3 and he finished with an average of 100.66. Following this series he retired from Test cricket at the age of 29 and 18 months later he retired from first class cricket altogether, playing his last match against Auckland in the Plunket Shield competition in January 1975.
Pollard made his full All Whites debut in a 5-0 win over Fiji on 17 September 1968 and ended his international playing career with 7 A-international caps to his credit, his final cap an appearance in a 1-3 loss to New Caledonia on 14 October 1972.
After retiring from cricket he taught at Hillmorton High School and Middleton Grange School in Christchurch eventually becoming Vice Principal there. Some 25 years later he entered politics by joining the South Island-based Christian Heritage Party, where he was 3rd on their list of candidates. The party platform was "Family, Justice, Choice and less Government control." However, he failed to be elected and subsequently left the party a few years later following a scandal that resulted in the conviction and imprisonment of the party leader, Graham Capill.
He is married with 5 children. He had both hips replaced in 2001.